Accompanied by business owners and representatives of the local city council, He Meihua wanted to find out about Mercabarna’s waste collection and management system in order to see which of the model’s characteristics might be applied to the waste-treatment policy for his own city.
The Chinese delegation visited the Green Point, where they saw the centre in operation, as well as the Central Fruit and Vegetable Market and the warehouse of Río Grande del Sur, a Mercabarna-based business that imports products from Yiwu.
The great global supermarket
Much of Yiwu, a city with a million inhabitants, is taken up by an enormous supermarket where most of the world’s price-point stores purchase their supplies, and by the industries that manufacture the objects sold at the stores. The supermarket has 62,000 stalls that sell over 400,000 different items (plastic handbags, umbrellas, handkerchiefs, etc.). Some 200,000 business owners from 250 countries pass through there every day.
Trip to China
On 12 November, Montserrat Gil de Bernabé, managing director of Mercabarna, and Jordi William Carnes, company president and Barcelona’s deputy mayor with responsibility for Finance and Economic Promotion, visited Yiwu to see the workings of this ‘curious’ city and to learn about its environmental problems. The visit took place within the framework of a trip to China which an institutional and business delegation from Barcelona, headed by Mayor Jordi Hereu, made from 10 to 15 November. The Mercabarna representatives also put their time in China to good use by visiting the facilities of the Shanghai wholesale market.