The giant Spanish food company will add 4 million euros in new infrastructures in a year marked by the management of the COVID-19 pandemic
The effort made to extend the services and improve the infrastructures for its clients – with an investment of almost 4 million euros – as well as the guarantee of a safe workspace, is contained in the company’s net profit (made up of Madrid City Council and Mercasa) in 2021. The companies are managing to close a stable financial year in the marketing of fresh food.
The market opened the first ‘Plan Sumamos’ Covid-19 Testing Centre, alongside the Fundación CEOE, CEIM and the Regional Government of Madrid. Over the year 2021, in this centre 8,474 free tests were carried out on people whose professional activity took place in Mercamadrid. A preventive initiative, which is added to the reinforcement of the cleaning and disinfecting teams.
Living alongside the pandemic management, Mercamadrid has promoted its transformation agenda, deploying a complete fibre network of trunk lines and 5G technology throughout the premises, which allows the integration of the new information and communication technologies, robotics and intelligent transport systems. A development that represents a clearly competitive advantage for the companies operating there, a real opportunity for the deployment of their own digital strategies.
Added to this service digitalisation strategy are the incorporation of Big Data and the automation of the management system of access controls and the development of the electronic headquarters and internal management platform.
Sustainability has been maintained in 2021 as a key action hub, with the replacement with LED lighting over a surface area of 390,000 m², doubling the lighting capacity and reducing energy consumption by half. Progress has been made in reducing CO2 emissions to the atmosphere, increasing the number of electric vehicle chargers available in the area, with a total of 15 chargers at present. Improvements have been made in waste management, managing to put the valorisation rates at 70% in the last months of 2021.
The creation of 216 new parking spaces, the renewal of the asphalt, the improvement of the waterproofing in the commercial area, the re-paving of the bays in the Central Fruit and Vegetable market or the signs for traffic lanes and preventive measures for a safer environment, are some of the actions for the transformation of the infrastructures.
Within the framework of the generation of new services that bring added value to their clients, in 2021 Mercamadrid started up the action of the new Foreign Trade Action Office, aimed at promoting the internationalisation of the companies. For this, they have carried out assessment work, required by the companies; they have promoted training activities to encourage export; they have taken part in the coordination of trade missions, with the involvement of 120 companies from Mercamadrid; as well as accompaniment for all the international buyers who have needed it during their foray into the food unit.
Extension of services and improvement of infrastructures for the companies that have represented an investment of almost 4 million euros (3.72M/€) in spite of occurring at the same time as the pandemic management.
With the spotlight on society and in the framework of its Corporate Social Responsibility policy, Mercamadrid has promoted its commitment to child health with the start-up, in October, of the Fruit School. A unique space in Spain where children learn about the chain of value and the Mediterranean Diet while playing. The goal: to collaborate with families and schools so that children acquire knowledge and skills for a healthy lifestyle and diet. For this, they have teamed up with the Asociación 5 al día and Asomafrut, a business representation organisation. This project has received a positive response from primary and secondary schools, completing the available spaces in just a few days and having to double the weekly visits to be received. The sector has also selected this project as one of the innovation references for 2021, according to the Spanish Innovation in Great Consumption Observatory, at the Instituto Cerdà.
Mercamadrid’s Training Centre has brought back on-site training, maintaining the online modalities set up at the start of the pandemic. This has allowed it to grow, with 2,024 people trained (30% more) and 175 courses give (63% more).
Aimed at moving forward in the fight against food waste, in 2021 they worked with the Fundación Banco de Alimentos de Madrid (Madrid Food Bank) on public awareness campaigns that allow surplus food to be redirected towards donations. In 2021, the delegation located in Mercamadrid has managed 2,282,122 Kgs. of fresh food, which have been given out to 34,000 people in vulnerable situations.
With this double-sided management, of attention and protection against the pandemic, along with the transformation of the premises, advance in services to companies and service to society, Mercamadrid ends a stable financial year from the economic point of view, with a net profit of 5.3 million euros, which represents a 12% reduction compared to 2020.
The companies in the food unit have managed, in spite of this complicated year, to maintain their marketing figures, with 3.1 million tonnes of fresh food marketed (1.5% more than in 2020). A result with differences according to the subsectors, with the meat sector (+11%) and the “miscellaneous” or “dry” sectors being the ones obtaining the best results (+35%). The instability even in the household and outside the household consumption patterns as a result of the different waves and preventive measures applied against the pandemic, are reflected in the marketing of the fish sector (-4% compared to 2020) and fruit and vegetables (-3% compared to 2020).