WUWM Shenzhen Conference Declaration

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October 26, 2011
A conference of the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) took place in Shenzhen, China from 18-21 October 2011, hosted by its member market: Shenzhen Agricultural Products Co Ltd (SZAP).

Held under the theme: “Global Collaboration: The Future Market”, some 260 delegates from 23 countries attended the event. Speakers discussed issues related to cooperation between markets and wholesalers, including the changes needed to adapt to today’s social and economic climate, strategies effective in handling challenges from competitors in the fresh produce distribution sector and areas of key interest in international market cooperation.

The following WUWM Declaration is the result of the discussions and activities undertaken during this event:

“On the occasion of the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) Conference held in Shenzhen, China under the theme: “Global Collaboration: the Future Market”, delegates from 23 countries gather here today to express unanimous agreement of the following:

We note the immense progress and development that has been made in circulation and logistical processes within the Chinese agricultural product industry. On 8 October 2011, the Chinese Prime Minister, Mr Wen Jiabao, in a statement to the Executive Meeting of the State Council, encouraged further organisation and modernisation of Chinese agricultural product circulation, along with a strengthening of the link between production and marketing. The framework to support these goals included: reduced handling, decreased costs, an individualised agricultural product information network, and a strengthened traceability system for quality and safety. This framework will result in more effective, fluent, safe and orderly circulation, matching the theme of this conference - Global Collaboration: the Future Market.

In supporting improved product circulation, the future will require an emphasis be given to environmental protection - especially through the lowering of carbon emissions, the promotion of green safety, and mutual collaboration. The host of this WUWM Conference, Shenzhen Agricultural Products Co. Ltd (SZAP), can be considered a leader in the ‘HiGreen’ idea. We consider SZAP a company representative of the responsible wholesale market mission, that being to guarantee food supply, stabilised prices, and food safety as well as to be of support to innovative developments within the agricultural industry.

SZAP provides 23 million tonnes of fresh produce to 200 million citizens in China annually, offering 150,000 employment positions as a result of its existence. It is representative of the current reform of the Chinese agricultural industry. At present there are two SZAP HiGreen markets in operation, with 7 more under construction. The new Shenzhen HiGreen market has achieved innovative excellence in construction, information technology systems, integrated environmental protection, food safety traceability systems, logistical processes, financial services, and B2B as well as B2C business operations, successfully combining the goals of security, environmental protection and efficient operation. In particular, we note their achievement of a modern food laboratory for third party testing on the market, and the development of an electronic trading system which supports the agricultural product food supply chain from farm to table.

Furthermore, WUWM notes the following important points as a result of the technical discussions held during this conference:

- To ensure business effectiveness, market managers, wholesale and retail traders must collaborate by ensuring a common focus and approach is made to meeting the challenges of the future. To this end, new technologies and specialised IT systems are an important tool to improve B2B e-commerce as well as to share trade and product information with the main aim of ensuring flexibility in supply-demand, promoting transparency and supporting logistical efficiency, in combination with education of the producers, wholesalers and independent retailers.

- Presentations made during the Conference highlighted the many positive and important contributions HiGreen markets are making to the Chinese food supply chain. Many interesting and successful developments are also taking place in other parts of the world, with growing relevance of environmental development aspects in which wholesale market managers play a key role. Furthermore, markets throughout the world are initiating important developments in food safety and hygiene. Certification, traceability and good practice are now providing a common basis for food crisis prevention and/or management.

- The widening distance between production areas and expanding cities has prompted Asian governments to consider wholesale market planning, construction and modernisation in order to secure the quantity and diversity of products needed. In depth presentations of the trends and perspectives of wholesale markets in Japan, China and India showed three very different situations, each of them offering important opportunities and challenges as regards the future for improvements in development and networking.

- The foundation of successful markets lies in collaborative relationships between the market authority and traders and the ensuing ability to quickly adapt to the global forces impacting the market and the customers the market serves.

In closing, we take this opportunity to thank the government of Shenzhen for its support, and the Shenzhen Agricultural Products Exchange Co (SZAP) for its hosting of this WUWM Conference. We offer our congratulations to SZAP on the success of their HiGreen concept. Although challenges may differ amongst countries of the world, wholesale markets share some common goals: those being to ensure safe, efficient, environmentally friendly markets which help promote the harmonious development of people, communities, business and nature. WUWM members unite with SZAP in the mission to ensure that enhanced communication, cooperation, service and beneficial commercial relations exists between the food wholesale markets of the world.”
If you would like more information or photos from this WUWM Conference, please contact the WUWM Secretariat directly.