Mercabarna is the management company that exercises control over four elephantine wholesale markets (Central Fruit and Vegetable Market, Central Fish Market, Central Flower Market and the Mercabarna Slaughterhouse). It’s also the umbrella term used to describe the precinct within which these four wholesale markets, and countless other related edifices, are housed.
Its sphere of influence encompasses not only the entirety of Catalunya, but Spain, the south of France and the north of Italy. This is due to Mercabarna’s sheer size and strategically-located geographical position, which facilitates ease of access from land, air and sea.
- Over 300 companies operate in Mercabarna’s four central markets and over 800 in the complex of Mercabarna as a whole.
- Mercabarna contains 22 restaurants, a hair salon, a pharmacy, banks, a hardware store, a newsagent, and its own waste water treatment plant.
- The Central Fruit and Vegetable Market adopted day-time business hours in 1989. This is in contrast to the operating times of the majority of fruit and vegetable wholesale markets the world over.
- The roof of the Central Flower Market is fitted with a carpet of 3,000m2 photovoltaic panels which supply the energy needed to run the market.
- The Mercabarna Slaughterhouse produces 26,000 tonnes of meat every year and is the second largest of its kind in Spain.
- Over 41% of the produce entering into the Central Fish Market is imported, a 9% decrease from the pre-crisis figures.
IN THE BEGINNING
Before Mercabarna came into existence, wholesale food markets were centrally located within Barcelona itself. Such markets were housed in well-known social and cultural venues such as Mercat del Born, Parc Joan Miró and Teatre Lliure.
In 1971, the Central Fruit and Vegetable Market relocated from its position within the present Mercat del Born. Barcelona’s slaughterhouse and the Central Fish Market relocated to the Mercabarna precinct in 1979 and 1983 respectively. The previous Flower Market was moved to Mercabarna in 1984 but burned down in 2001. Construction of the new Flower Market was completed in 2008.
- The area of land upon which Mercabarna operates covers approximately 90 hectares of the Zona Franca plus another four-and-a-half hectares occupied by the flower market in Sant Boi.
- Some 23,000 people enter Mercabarna every day to work and do business, including 25 persons employed solely to maintain hygiene levels.
- In excess of 45,000,000 kilograms of refuse is collected
- from Mercabarna every year.
- Over 200 security cameras are used within the food unit alone.
- On an average day, more than
- 14,000 vehicles enter into the Mercabarna precinct.
- The Central Flower Market cost
- €24,000,000 for the purchase of land and construction.
- Mercabarna supplies fresh produce to over 10,000,000 consumers.