The public organisation Mercabarna is celebrating its 50th anniversary and it still holds its ‘pole position’ at the head of the wholesale markets all over the world, with some important challenges for the next few years.
Mercabarna is, at present, the food hub of the Mediterranean and its area of influence reaches over 10 million consumers in Catalonia, Spain and the rest of the world.
The figures talk for themselves, as over 23,000 professionals arrive at its installations every day, where there are 700 companies that generate 7,500 jobs.
At present, the food unit is immersed in important projects which are sure to make Mercabarna continue being a worldwide reference point in the trading and distribution of fresh produce. Amongst them the following stand out: the renewal of the infrastructures of the central markets for fruit and vegetables and for fish; the creation of a food development centre; the construction of a hall for ecological foodstuffs; the promotion of local produce and digital transformation.
Throughout its intense history, events have stood out in the past and that will mark out the future of this food hub:
-In 1967, the limited liability company Mercabarna was established.
-En 1971, the Fruit and Vegetable Market moved from the Borne Market to Mercabarna; in 1979, the city’s Slaughterhouse was located here; in 1983, arrival of the Central Fish Market; in 1984 the Central Flower Market joined the complex and in 1987, the Complementary Activities Zone (CAZ) was created.
-In 1988, the Fruit and Vegetable Market became the first day market in the World.
-In 2002 the Green Point and the Food Bank were created.
-In 2012, the project to convert Mercabarna into the Mediterranean Food Hub was initiated.
An audacious and visionary business hub.Without any doubt, Mercabarnawould not be what it is today if a group of audacious businessmen had not insisted on making an unprecedented change in the working hours, which influenced the quality and improvement of their lives, along with those of all the market’s workers. This change meant the possibility of a generational changeover and the general modernisation of the entire sector.
In addition to this, companies and entrepreneurs have arisen from Mercabarna, whose professional zeal brought Spaniards produce never seen before, such as endives from Belgium imported by Sitjar, or the first pineapples from the Azores brought byCarles Martífrom CMR. From this point onwards, produce such as kiwis, avocados or bananas, or more recently the range of exotic fruits (lychees, pithayas, banana passionfruits, soursops, kiwanos or rambutans) or ethic produce started to cross our borders and enter our country. Any community, Chinese, Ecuadorian or Arabian can acquire the fruit and vegetables they eat in their country of origin at Mercabarna.
Since then, the evolution of Mercabarna’s purchasers has progressively extended and changed in terms of the social and economic changes that are being managed in a globalised world. Today, Mercabarna’s offer is so extensive and covers so many countries of origin that, if it isn’t here, it might not exist at all.
Today Mercabarna is the Food Hub of Southern Europe and it plays an essential role as the supplier of the municipal markets, local stores, both retail and export chains as an organised activity.