The secret to this market's success is that it sells authentic local produce, food that is excellent quality. This and its faithful clientèle have ensured the market has survived difficult times, and helps to futureproof traditional Ibizan agricultural production: from the farm to the market stall.
All produce undergoes official annual quality controls, an agricultural technician from the Sant Antoni Agricultural Cooperative visits the growers to verify the produce and advise the farmers.
The market has six owners and four market stalls, all from Ibizan families (Can Ric, Can Murter and Can Joan Ramon de Forada). Working in the market means continuing the family tradition. Farming knowledge that has been passed down from generation to generation, in some cases whole families (grandfathers, fathers, sons) who live off the land, farming and selling produce. Each family works on a section of this process.
These Ibizan family farms make up the 'Mercat Pagès'. They all farm in the most environmentally friendly and sustainable way possible, with a focus on soil fertility and biological activity, while minimising the use of non-renewable resources and making the most of the resources available in nature and on their own farms. The harvest depends on the time of year and the weather.
In the summer Ibiza produces watermelons, melons, oranges, courgettes, tomatoes and apricots, with the star product being watermelons. And in the winter there are cabbages, potatoes, pomegranates as well as native varieties such as Ibizan potatoes, white peppers and Col Payesa cabbages or 'Melón Eriçò'melons.
"My family has been working in this market for 27 years. We also have a greengrocer's in Ibiza, J Murtera, because we need another source of income apart from the market. We also have greenhouses at the farm, so we can offer our customers local produce all year round. We have to support farmers, people from Ibiza and preserve our culture, our land. If we don't look after it the real Ibiza will be lost".
María Palau – Finca Can Murtera.
"We've been here 35 years. These days we can live off the land because we have continued the family tradition and we have everything set up, with machinery. If you wanted to start from zero it's almost impossible, it's too much of an investment. As well as the market, we supply hotels, supermarkets. We also have greenhouses so that we can sell all year round".
Antonia Prats – Finca Can Murtera and Can Joan Ramon de Forada.
"I started working at the Mercat Pagès with my husband 44 years ago. The market used to be behind the Santa Cruz church. I've been a farmer all my life and we've always lived off the land, this is all we have. We love the land, we are the land, although farming is hard".
Catalina Bonet – Finca Can Ric.
At Ibiza es Wellness we'll introduce you to 'Mercat Pagès' where you can try the wares and eat healthily in a sustainable way with authentic local produce from Ibiza… from the farm to the market.