WUWM Paris Declaration

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October 7, 2009

On the occasion of the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) Conference held 23-25 September in Paris, France under the theme: "What Future for Wholesale Markets?" delegates from 28 countries gathered together to express unanimous agreement of the following: • We reconfirm the wholesale market commitment to a number of essential values that must exist within the global food distribution chain, notably: a preference for fresh products over processed; ensuring a quality–price ratio that is of service to consumers; protecting bio-diversity; the promotion of fruit and vegetables as keys to securing a healthy and balanced diet; support of urban retail trade; the promotion of environmentally-friendly logistics. • We note in this year of continuing global economic challenge that wholesale markets have not only demonstrated their resilience, but also their immense benefit in support of economies and communities everywhere. It has also been seen that food supply and distribution cannot function effectively when left solely in the hands of market forces. The significant intervention of public authorities is necessary to secure food safety, environmental protection and prevent anti-competitive practices. These are areas where markets provide policy/economic support that might otherwise be inhibited. • Retail markets have been integrated within WUWM, and their vital role in supporting the goals of cities and local governments cannot be understated. Retail markets are key to ensuring quality, fresh, healthy food is made available and accessible to the public. Such markets do not always benefit from the most suitable locations or get sufficient recognition in terms of urban planning gain, so we use this occasion to strongly urge that local governments throughout the world ensure retail markets receive the necessary support to continue contributing to long-term sustainable solutions to the many social and economic problems existing in our communities today. • We urge governments everywhere to revise their farming, food and agricultural policies to ensure these facilitate a genuinely competitive food industry offering competition and choice, whilst maintaining the necessary level of protection to consumers. This is possible through laws that do not prevent or limit: diversity, accessibility to alternative retail food outlets, or the availability of quality fresh produce. In closing we take this opportunity to thank the Rungis international Market for its hosting of this WUWM Conference, and we offer our congratulations on the 40th anniversary of the market’s move from Les Halles to Rungis.