The “food city” ratifies its commitment to guarantee economic, environmental and social sustainability.
Mercabarna continues to deepen its most social commitments and has published for the second consecutive year a Sustainability Report. The report analyses the impact of the activity of the central food market on its economic, social and environmental environment. This makes Mercabarna a pioneer among Spanish wholesale markets for its development based on sustainability criteria.
In drawing up the report, Mercabarna followed the indicators established by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) – the reference institution in terms of sustainability reports endorsed by the United Nations (UN). This transparency exercise details Mercabarna’s strategic objectives, the actions that are carried out and the challenges presented, which are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN 2030 Agenda.
In accordance with the SDGs, Mercabarna’s main corporate social responsibility actions have been articulated in terms of six aspects: Competitiveness and Employment, Fight against food waste, Healthy food, Environmental responsibility and Solidarity partnerships.
Labour market: 74% of the trained students find work
In 2018, Mercabarna gave 17 occupational training courses (butchery, fishmonger, greengrocer, florist, international trade, storekeeper and forklift) in which 210 unemployed people participated. The index of labour insertion of these courses, according to the data provided by the Catalan Employment Service of Catalonia stood at 74%.
To train the workers of the 800 companies in the food court, Mercabarna organised 71 continuous education courses in which 720 professionals took part. The courses were for butchers, fishmongers, greengrocers, charcuterie, occupational risk prevention, information technology, hygiene and handling of foods and languages, among others.
As for the ‘Mercabarna Grants’ occupational program (grants to companies for the hiring of unemployed people or recent graduates, equivalent to the minimum inter-professional salary for 6 months), a total of 83 scholarships have been awarded since the beginning of the program. 4 years. 75% of the scholarship holders have continued working in the companies where they did the internship during the scholarship period, once this one is over.
Fight against waste: 1.3 million tons of food for 21,000 people
Mercabarna and the Food Bank have collaborated since 2002 so that consumable but non-marketable food reaches people in need. For this reason, in 2018, Mercabarna Food Bank distributed 1,275,000 tons of fruit and vegetables among 67 social entities, which were distributed among some 21,000 vulnerable people in Barcelona and its metropolitan area.
Promotion of a healthy diet among 12,800 children
Mercabarna promotes healthy habits and respect for the environment among children, especially among schoolchildren who participate in their educational campaigns as well as among their schools and families. During the 2017-2018 school year, 12,300 children participated in the educational programmes: ‘5 a Day’, ‘Grow with the Fish’ and ‘Flowers and Plants Every Day’.
In addition, for 3 years, Mercabarna has been organising the ‘Refresh with 5 a Day’ summer camp, aimed at vulnerable children from social organisations in Barcelona and its metropolitan area. In 2018, 467 children and 96 monitors participated in this activity.
Respect for the Environment: 76% of all waste is recycled
In 2018, a record 76% of the waste generated by the activity of the 700 companies located in Mercabarna was recycled.
Mercabarna supports the social initiatives of 29 solidarity organizations
Mercabarna has supported the initiatives of 29 social entities that share its solidarity objectives. This support has been provided through the organisation of occupational training courses and sporting events; donation of food and financial contributions.
Economic Responsibility: €10.4 million
Mercabarna carries out the responsible management of its economic resources to guarantee growth, incorporating sustainability issues as a vector of success. In 2018, the food market reached a profit figure before taxes of €10,419,618.
Main social responsibility projects
In terms of the abovementioned aspects, Mercabarna carried out various initiatives in 2018: Inauguration of the Aula del Fresco; the organisation of the Congress of the World Union of Wholesale Markets with the slogan ‘The Future Markets: Efficient and Responsible’; first Summer University, focused on ‘Sustainability in the Food Chain’; and the start of the construction of the Biomarket, the first wholesale market and organic agricultural cooperatives of Spain.