On May 9th, one day before the REFRESH final conference 2019 that was organized in cooperation with the Barcelona Design Centre, four on hands experience were offered, featuring food waste innovators from business and civil society in the Barcelona area. One of these was a guided bicycle tour followed by a tasting of local organic produce in the Agricultural Park of Gallecs, organized by Gemma Safont I Artal (Manager of the Consortium of Gallecs), and Albert Garcia Macian (Head of the European projects and International Relations at the City Council of Mollet).
The Agricultural Park of Gallecs, also referred to as the ‘green paradise’ 15 km north of Barcelona, was born out of social fight to prevent urban pressure, that lasted more than two decades. In 2000, the Consortium of Gallecs was established to protect the land, consisting of six municipalities and the Catalan Government. Since then, Gallecs has undergone a transformation from an abandoned area to a flagship project of sustainable food production and recreational activities. Today, around 50% of the agricultural territory are farmed organically. During this field trip, Gemma Safont I Artal and Albert Garcia Macian from the Consortium of Gallecs took us on a ride to discover the area by bicycle. We found out how its people benefit from its win–win projects. We met local producers and visited the agricultural cooperative, learning from their activities to recover old local varieties of vegetables. Two particular highlights of the visit were the Can Quildo farm and its project of organic vegetables for public canteens, and a brand new organic egg farm. The visit ended with a picnic-style food tasting of local produce, all organic and delicious, including the infamous TOC beer.