Mayor Hereu was accompanied by Jordi William Carnes, Mercabarna chair and deputy mayor for Finance and Economic Promotion; and Montserrat Gil de Bernabé, managing director of the company.
During the press conference before some 15 media outlets, Mayor Hereu said Mercabarna will invest 45 million euro in developing such important projects as the renovation of the Central Fruit and Vegetable Market, the mobility plan, the urbanisation of the property where the old Flower Market stood in order to house more businesses, the expansion of the Slaughterhouse, and the sustainability plan.
“Decades ago, Mercabarna was the city’s central market and later it became the central market of Catalonia. Now it should play that role for Spain and Southern Europe,” Mayor Hereu said.
The mayor also underlined Mercabarna’s importance “as a tool for the urban trade model of proximity that we want for Barcelona and as an indispensable centre for safeguarding the values of our Mediterranean culture.”
Modernising the facilities
One of the key projects Mercabarna will undertake is the renovation of the Central Fruit and Vegetable Market. In this regard, company chair Jordi William Carnes assured those present that he is working alongside the Barcelona and Province Fruit and Vegetable Wholesalers’ Business Association (AGEM),which will be investing heavily in the project, so that by 2010 the project will be ready, making it possible for work to start.
“It will be a complicated task, because the Market’s sales activity won’t stop a single day while it is in progress,” Cr Carnes said. Other projects include the expansion of the Slaughterhouse, the sustainability plan, the implementation of new businesses and the mobility plan.
As regards the latter, Jordi Hereu pointed out that it will improve the circulation of both people and commercial vehicles inside the precinct and will mean “a significant boost to public transport, with the start-up of Line 9 of the underground and a new bus line, the 109 express, which will connect Barcelona city centre with Mercabarna more quickly”.
5 hours with workers and wholesalers
The mayor’s visit to Mercabarna began bright and early with a stroll around the Central Fish Market. He then dropped into Pescados Videla, an example of a business that brings added value and services to the fish sector.
Next, Mayor Hereu breakfasted with the representatives of Mercabarna’s different business sectors: Joan Llonch, chair of ASSOCOME; Casimiro Llorens, chair of the AGEM; Leandre Serra, chair of the Barcelona and Province Fresh and Frozen Fish and Seafood Wholesale Consignees’ Guild (GMP); and Enric Capafons, representative of the precinct’s meat sector. The mayor concluded his visit by touring the Central Fruit and Vegetable Market.