Mercabarna has laid the foundation stone of the first wholesale market for fresh organic food in Spain.
The Bio Market has been designed to respond to the growing demand among the Catalan population for organic and by the commitment of the city of Barcelona as a signatory of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact to develop sustainable food systems and promote a healthy diet.
The market, which will cost almost €5m and is due to be completed in early 2020, will cover 8,900m2 (including an loading and unloading area). It will house 22 stalls, as well as a direct sales area for small local producers.
Initially it hopes that the Bio Market will capture 20 per cent of total organic fruit and vegetable sales in Catalonia, equivalent to 23,662 tonnes a year. From 2031, the aim is to increase this to 50 per cent, or 78,100 tonnes of produce.
Mercabarna said its decision to build the new market was also a response to growing interest from wholesalers in organic produce.
“The market will help small and medium local organic producers to market their products in specially built facilities that will facilitate health inspections, organic labelling and traceability labelling,” the market authority said in a statement.
Mercabarna noted that housing organic suppliers under the same roof would encourage competition and improve value and variety for the consumer.
In a ceremony to commemorate the act, Ada Colau, the mayor of Barcelona stated: “In 2015 we were one of many cities that signed the Milan pact to promote healthy eating in our cities and food sovereignty.
“This requires not just interest from our citizens, which there is, and voluntary actions, but also ambitious infrastructure projects such as this Bio Market, which can respond to high demand for organic produce from a large area such as the city of Barcelona and its wider Metropolitan area”.