Mercabarna celebrates its 50th year

December 2017

Mercabarna closes a year marked by the celebration of its 50th anniversary and the recognition of everyone who has helped to build Catalonia's great pantry over the past half century.

At Mercabarna, 2017 will be remembered for the 50th anniversary celebration, an event that has been visible in the day-to-day of the space thanks to the organization of many initiatives. To mark the end of such a special year, the commemorative book Cinquanta anys creixent junts, (Fifty years growing together) was presented. This book looks back at five decades of history, projects and shared commitment.

This reflexive and peaceful end to the celebration, held on November 28th, brought together some sixty people. The publication presented recalls the most decisive events in the creation and consolidation of the Food Unit from a visual and documentary point of view.

At the same time, the narration is enriched with the contributions of over forty individuals who help to write an exciting, emotional story, marked by the constant work and the individual and collective joys of the "big Mercabarna family".     

Time for analysis and reflection

The presentation of this book coincided with the final stop of the travelling exhibit "50 anys d'evolució de l'alimentació a Catalunya" (50 years of the evolution of food in Catalonia), which paid a visit to Mercabarna after stopping at the Palau Robert and the municipal markets of El Ninot and Les Corts. This look back organized by Mercabarna was based on a study by the Alícia Foundation, which gathered knowledge on the fresh products sold by the entrepreneurs of the Food Unit.

Without a doubt, the most notable aspect of the exhibit was its innovative format. It offered a historical and sensory journey with the installation of six refrigerators that, while showing the most representative foods of each period, also emphasized the socio-economic changes that most influenced the transformation of eating habits.

For the occasion, a recipe book was created with the most representative dishes of each period, both those cooked at home and those served in restaurants. It is estimated that along its five stops, some 1,200 people enjoyed the exhibit.

An anniversary for everyone

From its very beginning, Mercabarna has sought to involve the individuals and organizations that maintain some sort of link with this city of food: the institutions, the companies and the workers, the buyers, suppliers and final consumers. With this in mind, a series of initiatives were organized with the goal of strengthening a feeling of belonging in everyone who helps to build the present and the future of Mercabarna with their daily efforts.

In addition to the institutional event that marked the start of the 50th anniversary celebrations, on March 24 the food market joined the party with help from a group of animators who enlivened its streets and spaces. The photo booth installed in the main square of the commercial area was also a great success, and many groups of friends and workmates took a picture home as a souvenir. In all, over 600 photos were printed.

In addition, the Cursa Mercabarna or Mercabarna Race that has been opening the doors of the space to citizens for three years was steeped in the festive spirit of this 50-year anniversary. In fact, it was the moment chosen to blow out the candles on a spectacular 1.7-metre birthday cake, created especially for the occasion by famous pastry chef Christian Escribà.

Finally, the festive mood could also be felt at the great event held at Mercabarna's flower market, the Mercademostracions, where an animator rode through the market on a bicycle especially decorated for the occasion, encouraging those present to put together a giant number 50. This little gesture reminds us that Mercabarna's 50 years are the result of the common work of many, both before and now, who have given the best of themselves to build an exciting project with an exciting future.