WUWM Poznan Declaration

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September 17, 2012
On the occasion of the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) Conference held in Poznan, Poland under the theme: “Wholesale Markets: the Platform for Business Partnering”, 160 professionals from 24 countries gathers today to express unanimous agreement of the following:
The theme of this event “Wholesale Markets: The Platform for Business Partnering” is an important one. Without a strong, competitive approach that inspires long-term prosperity, the traders on fresh food wholesale and retail markets will be unable to secure their future.
The host of this WUWM event: Wielkopolska Gildia Rolno-Ogrodnicza S.A. (WGRO S.A.) is not only active in Poznan but also through the north-west and middle-west regions of Poland, influencing the fresh produce consumption of over 1.5 million citizens in Poland annually and employing some 50,000 people (directly and indirectly) in this process. WGRO S.A. is a good example of the positive influence and contribution that wholesale markets give to the development of local businesses and communities in cities and their environs all over the world.
WUWM members ACKNOWLEDGE that it is not sufficient to simply rent out and manage well the available space on our markets. Effective market management requires a dedication and commitment to supporting both wholesale and retail market traders. That means being continually mindful of their respective needs, and extending as much support as possible - whether that be in terms of infrastructure, marketing, or commercial services and activities.
WUWM members APPRECIATE that if markets wish to remain relevant and competitive in the current environment, the traders on our markets must develop their internal trade to optimise capacity costs in their businesses, and develop the variety of products they offer their customers. They will also need to be part of strong, concise, focused and effective group actions that procure new customers, retain existing customers, as well as satisfy the ever-changing needs and demands of consumers.
WUWM members COMMIT to the development of this competitive process and realise this needs to unfold with the democratic and full involvement of all the tenants and businesses on the market. This also needs the cooperation and enthusiasm of both the market’s management and its owners. We note this synergy must also encompass as many major players in the food supply chain as possible, whenever and wherever that is possible.
WUWM members RECOGNISE that wholesale and retail markets can be supported, or restricted, by the food policies of the cities and countries within which they operate. It is also true that much of the relevance and value of markets rests on the fact that they support, unite and benefit all the many and varied actors in the food supply chain, from producers to the end consumers.
WUWM members BELIEVE that markets cannot only be driven by economic efficiency; taking such a position dissolves much of their importance and relevancy. Our markets allow for variety and diversity of product, ensuring consumers have affordable and accessible food. We are a major alternative route to market for innumerable local producers and businesses. Our markets are also key support tools to ensuring sustainability, local business profitability and can provide important environmental benefit to their cities where that is needed or supported.
WUWM members DEMONSTRATE a clear and strong commitment to remaining responsible in all our business operations. We remain convinced that the wholesale market business concept is one to be proud of, knowing that our operations contribute to ethical and sustainable development of the food supply and food distribution chains, both locally and globally. Fresh food wholesale markets perform the vital role of offering producers a unique and vital alternative route to market. These markets also provide for increased farm to fork food chain efficiency, ensure price transparency, and are an important vehicle to meet public initiatives for the increased consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Furthermore, WUWM notes the following important points resulting from the technical discussions held during this conference:
- Wholesale market authorities need to ensure their continued up-to-date understanding and compliance with relevant food safety regulations and legislation for common areas on the market. This is possible by ensuring good use of the WUWM Guide to Good Hygienic Practice (GPG) as adopted by the European Commission in November 2009 and by providing updates to that Guide as they may be deemed necessary.
- Supporting that the highest standards of food safety compliance are achieved by the businesses on our markets is of paramount importance. In this way, any promotion and support given by wholesale market authorities to traders can help to secure the future profitability of market trading, thus securing the role and position of markets within food distribution in the future.
- The importance of national associations to securing the local wholesale market position should not be underestimated. National associations can play a vital role in uniting markets and pooling resources in order to increase market competitiveness, while providing a valuable platform for joint national marketing activities and possibly also service provision opportunities (e.g. electricity purchase, etc.)
In closing, we take this opportunity to thank the Wielkopolska Gildia Rolno-Ogrodnicza S.A. (WGRO S.A.) for its good hosting of this WUWM Conference. We also thank the Polish Wholesale Market Association (SPRH) for its good support and invaluable sponsorship of this event.