Mercabarna managing director Josep Tejedo and the Barcelona Science Park (PCB) general director Salvador Maluquer signed a cooperation agreement on 15 January by which food estate businesses may use the scientific and technical services afforded by the PCB’s technology platforms under preferential economic conditions (a 30% discount). This means they will enjoy the same prices as any of the 70 organisations and companies located on the PCB premises.
In view of the current economic downturn, Barcelona City Council’s Area of Quality of Life, Equality and Sport has created the Food Surplus Committee. This organisation seeks to increase and make better use of the city’s food surplus in order to cover the basic needs of a greater number of families.
Mercabarna and the ASSOCOME business association set up three new technical commissions in November to launch projects that affect food-estate users as a whole and which strive for sustainability and resource saving. Focusing on mobility, energy and water treatment, the three commissions join forces with the two that have already been in operation for years: Telecommunications –which includes the Fruit and Vegetable and Fish Wholesale Business Associations– and Health and Job Safety.
Around 1,800 florists from across Spain took part in the 29th Mercademostraciones fair organised by Mercabarna-flor and held on 11 November. The fair is a singular opportunity in Spain for flower sector professionals (wholesalers, florists, floral art schools and more) to meet and hear about the latest trends and novelties in flower fashion and home and store decorations for the Christmas season.
To commemorate its 25th anniversary, the Mercabarna Training Area held an interesting conference on “How to Motivate Company Staff” on 21 November. Some forty businesspeople and human-resources managers from Mercabarna firms attended the event, where the training courses to be offered in 2013 were also presented.
The Catalan associations and organisations in the Confederation of Ornamental Horticulture of Catalonia (CHOC), which includes Mercabarna-flor and the Wholesale Business Association (AEM), have sent a joint letter to the Spanish Ministries of Finance, Economy and Agriculture expressing their concern about the rise in VAT applied to floral produce and live plants. The sales tax on these goods has catapulted from 8% to 21%.