Economic and ecological transition for the Market of National Importance Marseille Mediterranean

Economic and ecological transition for the Market of National Importance Marseille Mediterranean
04 March 2021 / Energy, Food Industries, Grow your business

An ambitious real estate project, a solar power plant and new warehouses will be built

As the backdrop for daily interactions between regional growers, wholesalers, importers and retail and distribution players, the Marseille Mediterranean Market of National Importance (MIN for "marché d’intérêt national") is reinventing itself and planning for new consumption trends. The MIN supports short circuits and organic products and is also positioning itself in green power generation and last-mile logistics, while promoting open access to the surrounding environment with an ambitious real estate project. Let's take a look at the breadbasket of Provence and the Var, a major hub for economic exchanges for the entire agrifood sector…

A new era is dawning for the Marseille Mediterranean MIN In 2022, the region will see a new real estate complex emerge from the earth: a diverse complex designed for businesses, neighborhood residents, an urban solar power plant and new warehouses.

A 2.5-acre plot will host a training center focused on produce vending professions, a farmer's market to showcase local harvests and an incubator for food tech businesses. Restaurants, a 90-room hotel and a shopping center with a drive-thru are also in the works.

New companies will have access to 57,000 ft2 of office space in the first phase, with a dedicated co-working area. The call for tenders will be issued in March. It will cover the development of the land located at the entrance to the market, and the program should be operational in 2022.

Private investors will contribute €50 million to build the real estate complex connecting the MIN to the city. In parallel, the Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolis, which owns a 65% stake in the MIN, will commit €52 million, on top of the €24 million invested in 2020.

For the MIN, whose operations generated 2,785 direct jobs and 10,896 induced jobs in 2020, this project will make it possible to hire new employees, especially in the Les Arnavaux district. The goal is to create 3,000 jobs in two years by attracting 40 companies.

A one million square foot power plant to light up the MIN

At the heart of this path toward openness is an approach that is both inclusive and environmentally friendly. In December 2020, the food bank at the MIN opened a workshop to process unsold fresh produce for sale in the "Andes" network of solidarity supermarkets. 

The installation of solar panels on 65,000 ft2 of new warehouses along the L2 bypass also began in 2020. The area covered will eventually expand to 1.07 million ft2 to generate 17.8 MWc. 

"We are going to build the biggest urban solar plant in France with the aim of becoming energy neutral," announced Mark Dufour, CEO of Somimar, which manages the market of national importance at Les Arnavaux and the one at Saumaty dedicated to seafood.

Like a true innovation lab, this green electricity will also, in time, enable the production of hydrogen for vehicles thanks to the addition of an electrolyzer.

Thus, the MIN is focusing on urban logistics to become the carbon-free distribution center for downtown Marseille.

On this point, Transports Chabas, a longstanding MIN customer, has partnered with Carrefour, Green GT and the ADEME to design a 44-ton hybrid heavy goods vehicle that runs on hydrogen and electricity. Working within the Cathyopée consortium, the truck is currently being assembled at CNIM in La Seyne-sur-Mer and should be placed in service by the end of 2021.

Urby, a subsidiary of La Poste, is already using low carbon emissions transport solutions and lower impact solutions such as bicycles for deliveries to MIN customers.

Each night, between 3 am and 8 am, nearly 1,500 merchants come to do their shopping, buying food from 265 regional producers on yearly subscriptions and around 60 wholesalers. The MIN is located at the intersection of the A7 and A 507 (L2) and just a stone's throw from the Port of Marseille-Fos, which enables it to serve a trade area encompassing 3 million residents.

Provence Promotion helps agri-food companies to set up in the area. Recently Futura Gaia, Delta Pack, Le Potager Voyageur and the South African Hall Sons chose to develop their activities in the Bouches-du-Rhône. Find out more about our support and the agri-food industry in Provence