Chairman’s Review 2015

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December 14, 2015

It gives me great pleasure to immediately begin the year review by welcoming the wholesale and retail markets that became WUWM members during the course of this year. Increasing our global membership helps to strengthen the presence of markets towards all levels of decision-makers, as well as to all players in the food supply chain, and helps us to improve and strengthen our knowledge base and expertise.

Additional to that, I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to our colleagues in the wholesale market of Budapest ‘Nagybani PIAC’, as well as the Budapest Metropolitan Municipality Hall and Market Directorate for their excellent hosting of the WUWM 2015 Conference in May. I also would like to say an enormous thank you to our colleagues in the Brazilian wholesale market association ABRACEN, as well as the wholesale markets of Campinas (CEASA Campinas) and Sao Paulo (CEAGESP) for their hosting of the WUWM 29th Congress in September. These two very successful events provided crucial platforms for promoting and supporting markets worldwide, and greatly enhanced our activities in 2015.

Another activity deserving of mention here is the 2015 international “Love your Local Market” (LYLM) campaign, run in May – the month of markets, a global campaign which WUWM has not only supported and promoted, but also coordinated, since 2014. This LYLM campaign has now become the largest markets event the world has ever seen, which in 2015 united more than 2,000 wholesale and retail markets in 16 countries of the world under the theme: ‘Markets Save, Markets Create!’

Another particular highlight of this year for WUWM, was the formalisation of our long and successful collaboration with the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO). In May during our Budapest conference, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with FAO that aims to boost food security in cities using markets, while also capitalising on the important role that markets can play in reducing food waste. This MoU recognises the growing challenge of feeding the world's cities and the importance of efficient urban markets. Our partnering promotes sustainability and inclusiveness in the wholesale sector, including developing “best practices” for reducing food waste. The collaboration agreement is already being implemented through various activities designed to increase an awareness of wholesale markets at all decision-making levels.

In 2015 the WUWM Secretariat has added several new social media forums to further support our growth and presence, as well as presented a new website: ‘Find A Market.org’ which plays the role of younger sister to the WUWM website – wuwm.org. This new website addresses our global need to educate and involve the public in our promotions and activities to help support the long-term visibility and viability of the fresh produce market sector.

As I have said throughout my mandate as WUWM Chairman, our professional network is something more than just an association: it is the international reference community for knowledge exchange in the field of food markets. We together are the knowledge base of the markets industry – we together are the experts, the leaders, and the life of one of the most ethical and most needed players in the global food supply chain today.

For the good work, support and active collaboration in 2015, I thank our entire membership as well as the WUWM Board and the WUWM Secretariat, and extend thanks to our sponsor - Petit Forestier. You all make possible the strengthening of our network’s information exchange and activities, which together improves the professional management of food markets everywhere.

My sincere wishes for an enjoyable festive season, and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2016!

Manuel Estrada 

WUWM Chairman - December 2015