WUWM 2009 Wholesale Market Award Winners

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September 30, 2009

French and Spanish wholesale markets stole the limelight during the recent World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) 2009 Wholesale Market Awards. Responding to the theme: ‘Sustainable Operation of Markets’, finalist entries from 10 countries competed for the WUWM gold, silver and bronze awards, presented in a ceremony held prior to the closing dinner of the annual WUWM autumn Conference which was hosted by Rungis International Market in Paris from 23-25 September. The market to win gold was SOMINICE – the wholesale market of Nice, France - a 44year old market with an annual turnover (2008) of 120,000 tonne and Euro 5million. The 26 ha market provides premises to 200 businesses selling fish, flowers, meat, fruit & vegetables, serving 2,500 customers daily. The judging panel - which included FAO marketing economist, Olivio Argenti, the former managing director of Hamburg Market, Wolf Rohde and former SEMMARIS Secretary General, Michel Ganneau - awarded gold to the market on the basis of its remarkable energy savings, especially as regards lighting and transport, as well as for its waste recycling/commercialisation programme, and water drilling/consumption (telereport) initiatives. Silver was awarded to the market of Mercamurcia in Spain for its integrated abattoir which supported separate waste collection, livestock manure transformation into worm humus, bio-fuel creation from animal waste, reduced to zero water discharge, and the use of alternative energies (photovoltaic). The market of Murcia was established in 1976 and is 29 ha in size, with an annual tonnage of some 215,000 (2008) of fish, flowers, meat, fruit and vegetables. The market of Mercabilbao in Spain was awarded the bronze for its development of a new reusable plastic container of support to the whole food chain: producers, wholesalers and retailers. The container was deemed to promote increased efficiency, ensuring a significant decrease in waste on the market, providing increased space savings and transport efficiency, and supporting consensus between various actors along the chain. MercaBilbao is a 13ha market with an annual (2008) tonnage of 245,000, and is home to over 260 businesses trading in fresh fish, fruit and vegetables. In congratulating the winners, WUWM Secretary General Maria Cavit noted that the 2009 WUWM Wholesale Market Award winners had "demonstrated excellence in the sustainability of their market operations" and in their "innovative use of existing and new technologies." A certificate of merit was also awarded, this going to the newly built market of Lyon-Corbas in France. The market had met all current norms for new market constructions, but in the eyes of the judges it had excelled in placing additional emphasis on environment, energy savings, reduced waste and recycling.