Rungis - French food and gastronomy heritage
Les Halles de Paris
1110 : creation of a food market known as Les Halles, in what is now the 2nd arrondissement of Paris, where it stayed for over 8 centuries until the move to Rungis.
1183 - 1269 : first covered stalls and buildings dedicated to for fresh fish under Philippe-Auguste and Saint Louis.
1543 : Works lasting 29 years decided by François 1.
1789 : first fruit and vegetable market. Les Halles de Paris begins to take shape.
1811 - 1853 : complete renovation decided by Napoleon I, entrusted to the architect, Baltard.
1953 : creation of the public market network (MIN)
1962 : official announcement of the move to Rungis.
After deciding to move the market out of Paris, a new site had to be found.
The criteria were the following :
- A site with vast, empty tracts, easily constructible.
- Central in relation to major road, rail and air routes.
- Easy access for Parisian and provincial vendors and buyers.
- Practical for incoming goods.
The Rungis site
The first available land was in Rungis.
- The future site spanned 600 ha.
- It was 7 km from Paris.
- It was close to Orly airport.
- It lay at a crossroads between major agricultural regions; the road system was well developed with room for expansion.
- Paris could be bypassed, simplifying access to goods.
- The SNCF rail network was nearby.
The building and the move
The works began in February 1964.
The existing installations were torn down and the land cleared. The following buildings then went up :
- 1 fresh fish pavilion
- 9 fruit and vegetable pavilions
- 4 pavilions for butter, eggs and delicatessen products
- 1 pavilion for cut flowers
- The administrative centre
The Rungis wholesale market officially opened on 3 march 1969
In 1973, the meat market came to Rungis. Actually, since the end of the 1950s, meat products were sold at the abattoirs at La Villette. With the development of refrigerated shipping and the modernization of provincial abattoirs, these facilities rapidly became inadequate. It was decided to group all fresh produce in Rungis, so the wholesale meat trade came to the site.
- The market is constantly evolving. It adapts to changes in consumption, customer needs and new health and safety standards for food.
- Since 1973, many buildings have been renovated, converted or modernized.
For example, just since the start of the 21st century, the meat pavilion was completely renovated, a new fish pavilion was opened, a trade floor was created for Ile-de-France fruit and vegetable producers, and a new logistics zone for warehouses was set up, called Euro Delta.