Hosted in partnership with the Mayor of London and the Project for Public Spaces, the IPM Conference, held earlier this month, spotlighted the incredible impact of public markets on cities. It brought leading advocates together to discuss how markets can be a space to support and empower the socio-economic growth of local communities.

Mercato Metropolitano
Mercato Metropolitano, Newington Causeway

MM’s founder and Chief Executive Dreamer, Andrea Rasca spoke at both the conference’s opening plenary, held at Southwark Cathedral, and its closing ceremony which was held at Mercato Metropolitano itself. He emphasised his commitment to the local community and the impact that the MMovement has made since its inception in 2016.

At the heart of Mercato lies the vision that markets should be open spaces focused on people, prosperity and partnerships. They are hubs where citizens can meet, communicate and learn more about the community – where food becomes a tool of soft power for public diplomacy.

Initiatives – such as cookery classes and summer schools – organised by Mercato in partnership with organisations like Migrateful UK and The PE and School Sports Network are examples of how markets can be spaces for community building.

MM is also a business incubator for food start-ups, providing food entrepreneurs with the resources and support necessary to get going.

Markets also have a responsibility to ensure that the environment is looked after, which is why Mercato works to be fully sustainable; creating innovative methods for reducing, reusing and recycling food waste in order to cut down its carbon footprint.

Public markets contribute greatly to our economy, generating over £250m each year and employing more than 13,000 workers. Therefore, it’s crucial that the sector continues to grow by collaborating with companies and government leaders to provide the support that enables businesses to flourish.

Mercato kiosk
The MM Kiosk, Sayer Street

The conference highlighted how markets are responsible for providing visitors with more than just food. Markets can be used as a tool to encourage community building, sustainable development and economic prosperity and Mercato was delighted to play its part in helping to celebrate this on such a prestigious stage.


Mercato will open its latest venture, MM Factory, on Sayer Street, Elephant Park, later this year. In the meantime,  the team have opened a new, temporary kiosk on Sayer Street for Elephant and Castle locals looking for a quick bite on the go. The kiosk is open Mon-Fri from 7.30am-6pm.

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