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Toni Vilà es el presidente del Gremio de Carniceros y Charcuteros Artesanos de Girona y maestro artesano. Es una persona que disfruta con pasión de su oficio. Una pasión que contagia a todo el mundo. Es muy activo en redes sociales. Está muy ilusionado con la nueva apuesta de Meat Xperience, una cita “hecha a nuestro tamaño para dignificar nuestro oficio”.

Why do you think a fair for delicatessens, butchers and poultry shops is necessary?

Because we have to grow in our craft. We can teach and share the things we do and show that we are prescribers of good food and we should believe it. Therefore, I think it is important to organize a fair for our sector. In a format designed for butchers, delicatessens and poultry professionals, where you can acquire new ideas for business.

¿Yqué ofrecerá de diferente respeto a otras citas feriales? ¿Es una cita más o es la cita para el sector del comercio de las carnes de proximidad?

When we go to the large fairs in the sector, such as Alimentaria, they are focused on large industry or the hospitality industry. There is no fair for professionals in the meat trade. At Meat Xperience, courses and demonstrations will be held, among other activities. It is designed for small businesses and artisans.

«If we infect our way of doing our job, we will find generational change»

You are artisans and that is what differentiates you from large companies…

In the world of the food sector, true artisans are those who make every day, we are committed small producers: meticulousness, dedication and passion for our craft.

The artisans of the sector work to ensure that all products are fresh and for this reason we make them every day, and thus we make much less food waste.

Talking about artisans is talking about enthusiasm for what we do: from the selection of raw materials, the production and even the point of sale. This total commitment to the production process guarantees that each product bears our own seal.

«Small businesses only have one way, personalized treatment»

The local meat sector has suffered greatly from the consequences of the pandemic, but at the same time it has adapted. With new consumer trends that reduce meat consumption, how is the sector working to respond to these new trends? How does it adapt?

With the pandemic we are experiencing a period of changes. And we had to adapt to the way of working and to new consumer trends. Less meat will probably be sold, but customers who come to butcher shops want to enjoy good meat.

Are we talking about offering experiences, for example?

Yes, that's why I think that as a small business, we only have one way and that is personalized treatment, the experiences of coming to buy in our stores, giving our products a taste and, on occasions, offering more special tastings in the form of events, similar. to what other sectors such as wine do.

The generational change is vital for the continuity of the trade and updating of the sector. What arguments do we provide to young people so that they see the meat sector not only as an option for the present, but for the future?

At the moment I have two young people in the workshop: 20 and 23 years old. I placed an ad on Tiktok looking for a person who wanted to learn the trade and I am delighted with the result. We must do the same as the cooks. We must know how to sell ourselves. Our job is a job with projection. In Catalonia, all establishments, or practically all, have a workshop. We serve customers and create. If we entrust this way of doing work, we will find relief.

"At Meat Xperience we want to teach professionals new ways of working and where meat businesses should go"

What do you expect from Meat Xperience?

It will be a meeting point for all butchers, where we will exchange opinions and ideas. Courses and talks will be held. We want to show what we are capable of and that the attendees can benefit from the knowledge of other colleagues. Producers and butchers sharing projects, ideas... everything for the sake of our job

We are preparing the agenda of activities, we are even contemplating that they can join other professionals such as cheese makers, livestock farmers or cooked food stores, which are part of our daily life.

What arguments would you provide to these sponsors to participate in Meat Xperience?

We are a sector that wants to claim our space in gastronomy. We want to grow, learn, share through this fair. We think that relationships are very important. The work, the talks, the ideas, the relationships that are made with a fair are often impossible to do when they visit us at work. Therefore, Meat Xperience is the place and the time.