To the south of Paris, near Orly airport, is the international market of Rungis â€“ the largest wholesale fresh food and flower market in the world.
40% of fresh produce consumed in France goes through Rungis, as well as 30% of fish and seafood, 20% of meat, and 10% of all dairy products, mainly cheese. 35% of Franceâ€™s restaurants are supplied by Rungis, as are 80% of its shops.
Covering 573 acres, Rungis, which opened in 1962, employs 13,000 people, and moves almost two million tons of food each year. 56% of food sold is fresh fruit and vegetables, while 21% comprises meat and meat products. Fish and seafood accounts for 12%, with dairy and prepared foods making up the remainder.
Although Rungis is a market for professionals (chefs, buyers, etc.), tours take place on the second Friday of each month (although do check the shopÂ page on the website as sometimes more tours are added). If youâ€™re interested in visiting Rungis, youâ€™ll have to get up early however, as the complimentary mini-bus departs from Denfert-Rochereau at 4.45am!
The three-hour visit includes tours of all the different halls (meat, dairy, fish, flowers, fruit & vegetables), and is followed by breakfast at 8am at one of the marketâ€™s breweries. Departure is between 9-9.30am, arriving back at Denfert-Rochereau around 15 minutes later.
What:Â MarchÃ© de Rungis tour
Where:Â Quai de Lorient, 94150 Rungis, Paris
When: Second Friday of each month @ 4.45am
MÃ©tro: Denfert-Rochereau RER (minibus pick-up)
Cost: 80 euros per person
Full information may be found on the Rungis website.5