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"Marcel Verbelen, director Mabru: "International product gamma"

Mabru celebrates 40th anniversary in Brussels on 28 September

On Saturday 28 September from 1 to 11 pm there is an open door night in Mabru, the wholesale market in Brussels. The event has been organized by the wholesalers themselves and each company will present its products in the best possible way. The early-morning market has been in existence for more than a century and moved from the center of town to the covered halls on the Werkhuizenkaai 40 years ago. On 28 September there will be various animations and tastings of products on the market.

Worldwide offer of products
Marcel Verbelen, the director of the early-morning market mentions, that the market, just like always, will be busy, but in a homely way. "Each trader in his own way will add to the feast. Everybody also invites his own business relations to come and have a look and to taste. Normally the market ends early, but now one is welcome till 11 pm." Verbelen has been the director since 1989 and has seen the development of the market during the last years. "The wholesalers became bigger and the small grocer is being replaced by large ones. I also notice that the street market has increased. About 20 years ago only Belgians stood here, but now there are 'new' Belgians also and with that different products on the market now offer an international product variety. People travel, see a product abroad and want it to be available at 'home' as well. Not only local products but a worldwide offer. Durable and organic products return more often all the time."

Market will remain for ever

For the time being the market will remain at this location. It is possible that there will be a move in the future, but that may take ten or twenty years. This is not as yet an issue. New stacking areas have been added and various investments have been made. A number of 'cash and carries' are in the market now. The market will always be there in the future. That is necessary, because people go on eating. People are going back to more cooking, the cooking programs are a hype. More fresh vegetables are being consumed. Also the 'forgotten' vegetables are coming back."

"The number of wholesalers has decreased over the last year. All places are occupied, but more is sold by less people. The best and the good ones remain, they know where to get the most beautiful products. It has become more difficult for the trader. For instance to have the correct goods available according to the wishes of the client. Sometimes there is too much on offer from the producer. It comes on the market and the traders have the task to sell. It is very positive that all good wares are always sold" the director concludes.

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