Quality of the products, promotion of typical local specialities, short supply chain, and seasonality are the inspiring principles of MeQ, Follonica’s indoor Quality Market, which was inaugurated today. President Eugenio Giani, the vice-president responsible for food and agriculture Stefania Saccardi, and the councillor for economy and tourism Leonardo Marras also spoke at the event.
“It is a structure,” said President Giani, “that reflects the values and philosophy of Vetrina Toscana: investing in excellence and typical local products while promoting restaurants and food shops. I have to thank the Municipality for the great work it has carried out, giving new life to a structure that had lost its brilliance and vitality. This action was made possible thanks to a regional call for tenders launched in the year 2019. I think we can safely say that this was a winning bet, in terms of making it possible to redevelop a public venue and make it attractive once again as an attractive place to socialise, dine, and shop”.
“Today marks an important event for the Gulf of Follonica, but I would also say for professional fishing and mariculture in Tuscany – said Vice-President Stefania Saccardi –. The new Covered Market is the hallmark of high-level professional activity that combines history, culture, business, tourism, and well-being, values that in this case are linked to the sea and its products. The area of the Gulf of Follonica historically presents interesting and important fish production activities, and the Follonica Covered Market in recent years has taken on the role of ambassador of the food and wine excellence of the territory by focusing on its structure. This, thanks to the excellent aquaculture and fishing enterprises established here, which have been awarded a specific quality label. The Region has done its part, even by supporting the modernisation of the market with the construction of the auction hall, which will give it added stature and provide a greater qualified drive for the promotion and development of the fishing universe, which in this territory has deep roots”.
Satisfaction was also expressed by councillor Marras. “Vetrina Toscana represents the vehicle for quality food and wine from Tuscany, based on tradition and local tradition. These are the principles that have inspired and guided the Municipality of Follonica in the recovery and redevelopment of this important meeting and social venue. The show cooking and the fish auction areas are the new features of this renovation, a way of enhancing the appeal of this space for tourists”.
For the renovation of the market, the Municipality drew on the resources of the 2019 call for investments for the qualification and enhancement of commercial venues and the regeneration of urban spaces, more than EUR 30,000, and the resources of the Municipality and Flag (Local Action Group for Fisheries and Aquaculture).
“The redevelopment was carried out with an eye on sustainability and preventing food waste – added Mr. Marras -. In fact, no plastic bottles are permitted in MeQ. The facility will soon be equipped with a water house where visitors can fill up their non-disposable water bottles, and an eco-compactor is now already in operation, in which plastic bottles can be placed for recycling. If a certain threshold of inserted bottles is reached, a discount voucher will be issued for the purchase of products within the market. In addition to this – he concluded – any food that is not sold or what remains at the end of the day will be delivered to the Caritas canteen for social, as well as environmental, sustainability”.