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09 Oct

First meeting of the Magnificent Seven

Last 5 October the first meeting of the Magnificent Seven members (M7) was held in Berlin, with a view to establishing the first steps to take by the international alliance of markets.

The Markthalle Neun of Berlin welcomed representatives from the Sydney Fish Market, the Borough Market of London, the Boqueria Market, the Pike Place Market of Seattle and the Queen Victoria Market of Melbourne (the last two by telephone). The only market unable to attend was the Central Market Hall of Budapest due to problems related to the agenda of its representatives.

It was decided that the meeting would be chaired by the Borough Market through its Chairman Donald Hyslop, while the communication tasks would be entrusted to the markets of Berlin and Sydney. The M7 initiative was set up by the Borough Market of London, twinned with the Boqueria since 2006, with the aim of establishing smooth interrelations between the managers of the different members markets through the exchange of experiences and knowledge.

In accordance with the objectives for which the alliance was created, the first actions decided on were the exchange of professionals between markets in order to share common and specific experiences and promote commercial exchange through the organisation of trade fairs for traders.

In addition, the topic of consolidating the alliance in the near future was discussed by mans of integrating other food market members. The formula for doing this was postponed for discussion at the next meeting.

The founder members of the M7 share the same characteristics of having been converted into global food icons, and the same problems, such as strong pressure exerted by the huge volumes of visitors attracted by their historical locations and special atmosphere. It is no surprise that these seven markets attract a total of 74.5 million visitors per year and one of their main objectives is to find a balance between this and their relations with their local communities, without renouncing the authenticity and traditional experience of the market for both customers and visitors.