MERCASA celebrates its 50th anniversary with its sights set on the future
MERCASA celebrated its 50th anniversary on April 7th, 2016, on the same date when was passed the Decree for its incorporation, on April 7th, 1966, with a commemorative ceremony, which took place at Mercamadrid; the event was chaired by the acting Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, Ms. Isabel García Tejerina, and was attended by Madrid’s Mayor, Ms. Manuela Carmena; MERCASA’s Chairman, Mr. Eduardo Ameijide; Carlos Cortés, who held this same office from 1983 to 1997; by the Chairman of the Spanish state-owned industrial holding company (SEPI), Mr. Ramón Aguirre; Mercamadrid’s Chairwoman, Ms. Marta Higueras, and by the Government Delegate in the region of Madrid, Ms. María Concepción Dancausa.
In her speech, the acting Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Environment congratulated “all those who have made it possible this half century in existence of a valuable company which meets all the requirements to continue improving itself and for lasting in time”.
Besides, Ms. García Tejerina also pointed out that MERCASA represents a “successful instance of public and private sector collaboration”, which not only constitutes a model for other countries, but also it has been, since its incorporation, “a fundamental tool in the Spanish food policy, contributing to organizing the commercial chain of fresh foods”. Ms. García Tejerina also highlighted the important role played by the agri-food industry and the Spanish food chain, which has “efficient links, whose interactions take place within a context of growing innovation and quality, both regarding the products and the processes”.
MERCASA, more than a markets network
MERCASA’s Chairman, Mr. Ameijide y Montenegro, acknowledged the work carried out by all the Chairmen which the state-owned company has had during these 50 years, as well as that by their respective work teams.
Mr. Ameijide pointed out that MERCASA has been “much more than just one Mercas’ network”, and highlighted as one of the most significant successes the initial challenge of replacing the old central markets with “modern facilities at the service of the food chain”, with an authentic future vision. Besides, MERCASA’s Chairman also stressed that the main challenge faced by the company is making progress with the definition of the Merca of the future.
Mr. Carlos Cortés, a former MERCASA’s Chairman also gave a speech during the celebrations of the commemorative event, highlighting the “no meddling of politics and the innovation” which have characterized MERCASA’s record during the last 50 years.
For her part, Madrid’s Mayor, Ms. Carmena, praised the important role played by food, and she announced that Madrid’s town hall has the goal of promoting gastronomy and nutrition as elements for attracting tourists.
Testimonies of MERCASA’s history
During this event took place the presentation of a commemorative book which shows MERCASA’s evolution during its 50-year history, as well as its contribution to the modernization and operation of the food chain in Spain; besides of a video which shows through images the above evolution.
At Mercamadrid’s main office was inaugurated on April 7th, a photographic exhibition made up by more than 150 images depicting MERCASA’s history, as well as that of the Mercas and of the commercial activity in Spain during the last 50 years.
All of the above with a joint goal and message; that of celebrating MERCASA’s 50th anniversary with the sight set on the future, guaranteeing a long life of positive results at the service provided from MERCASA and the Mercas to the whole food chain., whose reason of being is today as valid and necessary as at the beginning, adapting itself to a changing reality.MERCASA is a state-owned company belonging to the Central Government, whose shareholders are Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales (SEPI) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment, through the Fondo Español de Garantía Agraria (FEGA).MERCASA provides a public service to the whole food chain, especially to the wholesale fresh food industry, through the network made up by 23 Mercas, which MERCASA has promoted and jointly manages with the respective town councils.
Also, MERCASA manages its own network of commercial centers in response to its public service vocation as a tool for supporting the organization of the retail industry in those areas which have special requirements or in new urban developments.
Besides, MERCASA keeps a growing international activity, with the preparation and development of technical assistance projects for the modernization of the commercial wholesale and retail structures, especially in those countries which face the challenge of organizing theirs food system.The commercial wholesale activity carried out in the Mercas network generates a turnover which in 2015 surpassed 10,600 M€, which correspond to the commercialization of 6.7 Million Tons of foodstuffs, mostly of a perishable nature (fruits, vegetables, fish and meat). The figures for 2015 show a 6% increase on the sales recorded in the previous year.
The commercial wholesale and services activity is carried out by 3,200 companies which are located within the Mercas, and which daily service 75,000 customers (retailers, catering, institutional consumption companies, etc.), with more than 100,000 commercial transactions each day. Fresh food’s sales in the Mercas represent, in terms of market share on total consumption in Spain, around 55% of the fruit and vegetables, and around 45% of the fish and seafood, and around 25% of the meat.
MERCASA and Grupo SEPI
MERCASA belongs to Grupo SEPI, a corporate holding which includes a total of 16 state-owned companies in which it has direct, majority shareholding participations, with a workforce of around 73,000 professionals in 2014; the Spanish state-owned television and radio corporation, Corporación Radiotelevisión Española, which is attached to SEPI, and one public foundation. Equally, SEPI has direct minority shareholdings in a further ten companies, and indirect shareholdings in more than one hundred companies.
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