MERCAPALMA, the wholesale market, yesterday unveiled its new-look market. The work done has included the refrigeration and renovation of its fruit and vegetable sections so that it is now the first central market with inbuilt refrigeration for these sections. These works, which have been going on since 2001, have cost 3.5 million euros.
The Mayor of Palma, Catalina Cirer, and the Balearic Minister of Commerce, Industry and Energy, Josep Juan Cardona, yesterday spoke about the reforms to Mercapalma during a press conference. Cirer said that the reforms consisted of the renovation of two sections with 116 stalls, spread over 6'264 square metres. She explained that, as well as the refrigeration, the doors into the market had been automated and the water supply had been improved, amongst other things. She added that the work had been done in four phases and had cost a total of 3'554'800 euros, half of which had been paid by the Balearic Ministry of Commerce. Of this, 2'717'000 euros had been spent on refrigeration and 837'000 on the rest of the improvements. Some of the funds for this had been supplied by the Fruit and Vegetable Wholesalers Organisation and some by Mercapalma. Cardona said that in addition to being the first wholesale market in Spain to have refrigeration in all its stalls, Mercapalma is the second European centre of its type to do so, Paris being the first. Cirer also underlined the importance of the collaboration of the three administrations in this reform: the central Government, through Mercasa; the Balearic Government; and Palma council; to improve the quality of service and products on sale in these two sections, whose annual volume of sales is estimated at some 140 million euros. Cirer added that, thanks to the refrigeration, the stalls will be “at the right temperature” to conserve the fruit and vegetables and to reduce the damage caused to them by high summer temperatures. Cardona highlighted the importance of the participation of private enterprise in the improvement of Palma's wholesale market, and said it was very relevant to the objective of getting “a modern, competitive and innovative commercial structure” for these products.