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Alicante, Region of Valencia

Spain: 8,000 trucks bound for Russia and EU stop for inspection

Around 8,000 refrigerated trucks used for international transport, which departed from Almeria and Murcia bound for Russia and the European Union, made a stop in the facilities of Mercalicante to carry out the compulsory phytosanitary and customs inspections.

The traffic volume is such that, according to its director, José Ramón Sempere, Mercalicante has managed to make 50,000 Euro over the past year in this way. "This is a comfortable and well-connected place for the international transport sector, as we offer services such as restaurants, a bank, wifi and parking."

Eurobanan-Coplaca (The Canarian Banana Cooperative), one of the companies with the greatest turnover in Alicante, also makes use of the facilities. With eleven delegations in Spain and 138,000 tonnes processed per year, Eurobanan's branch in Mercalicante is one of the largest in Spain. The distribution is carried out through Mercalicante and other national distribution chains after maturing the product in eight chambers at 18 degrees Celsius.

Mercalicante, mainly known as a fruit and vegetable market, has just launched a plan to promote the Meditarrenean diet under the umbrella brand "Mercalicante Salud Mediterránea". Dani Murcia, president of the Wholesalers' Association, said that the brand will focus on promoting the idea amongst consumers that "every product they eat has an origin and undergoes a proper treatment and processing."

Over the past five years, Mercalicante has reached a net profit of 1.5 million Euro, despite the recession or perhaps because of it, as fruit and vegetable consumption levels have not been affected. Another beneficial factor has been the spread of 24 hour stores run by Chinese and especially Pakistani citizens. But Mercalicante is much more than just a food warehouse. Ten technology companies have already established themselves there because of its fast ADSL availability and offices at very competitive prices.

The firm also showed environmental awareness by signing a deal with Bacarot's Irrigation Community through which it saves 25,000 Euro in water every year for the refrigeration of its many chambers, not just for fruit and vegetables, but also for bread, meat and frozen fish.


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