A little history

  • 1971
  • 1979
  • 1983
  • 1984
  • 1984
  • 1999
  • 2008
  • 2010
  • 2013

Mercabarna is a public limited company founded in 1967 with the aim of ensuring the efficient and responsible supply chain of fresh food in the wholesale stage operation.

In the past, wholesale food markets were situated in central locations within the city of Barcelona and occupied buildings which are now used for important social, cultural and leisure facilities. The growth of the city and of its population led to problems of all kinds for these central markets in terms of capacity, communications, the environment and so forth. Gradually, therefore, they relocated to the Mercabarna precinct.

  1. 1967

    Founding of the limited company, Mercados de Abastecimientos de Barcelona SA (Mercabarna).

  2. 1971

    The precinct's first wholesale market opened, the Mercat Central de Fruites i Hortalisses (the Central Fruit and Vegetable Market) which had come from the iconic Mercat del Born in Barcelona.

  3. 1979

    Barcelona's slaughterhouse, the Escorxador de Barcelona, also moved. Until then the municipal slaughterhouse had been located on the site currently occupied by the Parc de Joan Miró in Barcelona, near the Plaça d'Espanya.

  4. 1983

    The Mercat Central del Peix (Central Fish Market), which until then had been located in Carrer de Wellington in Barcelona, started operations in Mercabarna.

  5. 1984

    The Mercat Central de la Flor (Central Flower Market) also moved to Mercabarna. Since 1964, the Market had been located in Carrer Lleida in Barcelona in a building which now houses the acclaimed Teatre Lliure.

    Mercabarna's Multi-purpose Hall was built to house wholesale companies marketing prepared and semi-prepared products.

  6. 1987

    Construction of the entire Complementary Activities Zone (ZAC).  

  7. 1989

    The Hospitalet de Llobregat fruit market joined up with the Mercabarna Central Fruit and Vegetable Market.

  8. 1997

    Mercabarna became the first wholesale market in the world to install a fibre-optic network throughout its entire premises.

  9. 1999

    Start of the '5 a day' campaign, an initiative promoted by Mercabarna and the Association of Fruit and Vegetable Wholesalers of Barcelona and Province (AGEM), to encourage the consumption of fruit and vegetables by children.

  10. 2002

    Preliminary agreement to develop Mercabarna's environmental policy. Construction of the Green Point and other infrastructures for the collection and separation of waste.

  11. 2008

    The new Central Flower Market (Mercabarna-flor) located between the municipality of Sant Boi and El Prat de Llobregat was inaugurated on October 2008.

  12. 2009

    Creation of the Barcelona Food Cluster Association with the aim of helping to improve the competitiveness of the food companies.

  13. 2010

    Start of the 'Grow Up With Fish' campaign organised by the Central Fish Market Wholesalers' Business Association, with the collaboration of Mercabarna, to encourage children to eat more fish and seafood.

  14. 2012

    Start of the project to establish Mercabarna as the Food Hub of the Mediterranean, a benchmark centre in both the redistribution of fresh goods and in aspects related to the management and operation of a food estate.

  15. 2013

    Mercabarna changes its corporate image with a new logo to convey attributes and values identified with the Food Unit, such as movement, network, Barcelona, freshness, vitality, modernity, etc.

    Agreement to modernise the facilities of the Multipurpose Pavilion. The companies in this centre will fund the investments to be made and have the option, if they so choose, to renew their contracts to remain in the precinct.

    Barcelona City Council, Mercabarna, the Central Fish Market Wholesalers Business Association and the Central Fish Market Stockpilers Association sign an agreement to modernise the Market's facilities. The businesses in the Market will pay for the improvement works and, in return, can extend their administrative concessions.

  16. 2014

    Mercabarna launches a grant programme to encourage companies in the Food Unit to take on university graduates and the unemployed.

    Barcelona City Council, Mercabarna, the Fruit and Vegetable Wholesalers Business Association (AGEM) and farming cooperative representatives agree to modernise the Central Fruit and Vegetable Market. The businesses in the Market will pay for the improvement works and, in return, can extend their administrative concessions.

  17. 2015

    The first edition of the Mercabarna Race is being held, attended by 3,000 citizens, including runners, companions and relatives, who are taking part in this sports and solidarity event that promotes healthy eating.

    The Mercabarna Trends Observatory is created, a service that analyzes emerging and future issues that may affect the business model of companies in the area.

    Mercabarna promotes the 'Mercabarna Innova' awards, awards that aim to encourage a culture of innovation in the firm's premises.

  18. 2016

    Mercabarna is organizing the first 'Mercabarna Enfoca' photography awards, aimed at professional photojournalists and instagrammers, in which 89 photographers take part with a total of 1,087 photographs. Following the competition, a traveling exhibition is being organized that covers various areas of Barcelona.

    Mercabarna and the business associations of the venue sign a plan against food waste with which they undertake to reduce the food surpluses that are generated in the daily activity of the venue. The ultimate goal is to make the supply chain more sustainable and responsible.

  19. 2017

    Celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of Mercabarna, with the holding of commemorative events aimed at workers, companies and citizens.

  20. 2018

    Organization of the Conference of the World Union of Markets (WUWM), in which the role that corporate social responsibility plays in the management of wholesale markets was analyzed.

  21. 2019

    Construction of the first wholesale market for organic fresh food in Spain, the Biomarket.