WUWM Delegation Visits Polish Markets

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June 13, 2007

Poland was one of the biggest fruit and vegetable producers in the European Union in 2005* and Polish fresh produce is in ever-increasing demand throughout the continent. In answer to this success, the wholesale markets in the country are joining forces to keep abreast of these exciting challenges. The World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) was invited to support its member markets in the country and attend a mid-May meeting of the Polish National Wholesale Market Association. Wolf Rohde, Managing Director of Hamburg Wholesale Market and Board member of WUWM attended this event with Maria Cavit, the WUWM Secretary General. They began with a visit to Bronisze Market in Warsaw. This market was completed in 1999 and is situated on 40 hectares. It has an estimated fruit and vegetable turnover of 1,200,000 tonnes (excluding plants and flowers) with some 5,500 daily customers. Servicing a national and regional population estimated at around 14million, the market is operating every day of the year. Due to its increasing activities, the market authority is currently working on a three year investment programme which will allow for further expansion and modernisation. Moving inland to the city of Lodz (pronounced “woodge”) for the national association meeting, the delegation visited “ZJAZDOWA” the Lodz Wholesale Market and a major food centre in the central Macro region of Poland. Built in 1997, the market covers an area of 14 hectares and includes four foodstuff halls (2000 m2 each). It supports over 130 businesses and serves approximately 40,000 customers a month. This market also provides ‘open-air’ facilities for about 400 agricultural producers. The market has been implementing HACCP, and was DIN EN ISO 9001 - 2001 certified in 2006. With great innovation the Lodz market management uses television broadcasts in co-operation with Polish public TV to send out varying information on the sector, as well as advertising and trading promotions. Via this medium, important information related to production and trade in agricultural products and foodstuffs is transmitted, along with details of farmer assistance programmes, trading in ‘safe food’, and EU standards regarding commercial quality of fruit and vegetables. On returning to Warsaw, the WUWM guests made a final visit to the city’s second wholesale market, the Wholesale Grocery Market (PGS) situated in Zabki, about 7 km from the centre of Warsaw. PGS was established in 1991 as a private initiative and has since become one of the biggest wholesale markets in the country. It operates on 11ha with over 100 wholesalers trading in fruit and vegetables, meat and dairy products, as well as beverages and other food products. In particular, the meat trading on this market leads the sector in the region, with traders offering a wide range of processed and pre-cooked meat products from almost all producers in Poland. This visit to PGS coincided with “Polish Taste”, an exhibition of regional and traditional products held on the market annually. Over 50 regional producers come together to promote regional Polish foods, all products being produced without chemical supplements and preservatives and traditionally made in line with Poland’s culinary heritage. This event was well supported by the Minster of Agriculture and Rural Development, as well as officials from the Mazowsze region. The Polish national association for wholesale markets was established in 2004 and is currently chaired by Mr Grzegorz Hempowicz, President of the successful Poznan Wholesale Market. A total of 20 wholesale markets have now joined the national association which aims to support the Polish markets in meeting the ongoing challenges of the European food distribution chain. Members are currently addressing issues such as trader training, food safety/hygiene standards and certification, as well as modernisation of market infrastructure, logistics and management models. Marketing the market in its widest sense, as well as promoting and supporting traditional retailers are two developing areas for future discussion and activity. WUWM is encouraged by the market developments taking place in Poland and pleased to support its members in the country. Further information on WUWM and its member markets is available by visiting: www.wuwm.org. *As detailed in: ZMP: "Agrarmarkte in Zahlen" - Europaische Union 2006; "Gemuse" – Deutschland, Europaische Union, Weltmarkt – 2006; "Obst" - Deutschland, Europaische Union, Weltmarkt 2006 and "Rynek Owoców i Warzyw" No. 29 - Instytut Ekonomiki Rolnictwa i Gospodarki ¯ywnoœciowej. Warszawa, Listopad 2006.