WUWM is committed to increasing the profile of, and the knowledge within, food markets worldwide. To effectively undertake this international challenge, we believe we need to think global and act local.
While all WUWM members are united under the international umbrella of the association, receiving support and services from the WUWM Secretariat based in The Hague in the Netherlands, it is our belief that intensified collaboration at the regional level helps to better serve the specific promotion and support of certain interest areas and activities.
Regional working groups ensure increased member involvement, stimulate activities of benefit to markets in the regions, support the procurement of market data and regional market studies/projects, as well as help ensure a more effective representation of food markets within the global food distribution industry.
To this end, regional meetings are held during the course of every WUWM Conference or Congress, with separate regional meetings or seminars arranged as the need arises. Information on the current activities of these sections is provided below.
Mr Giannis Triantafyllis
The WUWM European Regional group is currently chaired by Mr Giannis Triantafyllis, CEO of the Central Markets & Fishery Organization SA in Athens, Greece. WUWM is included in the European Commission’s ‘Transparency Register’. This regional working group of the WUWM has been in existence since 2001 and has achieved the following important objectives:
- Initiated a comprehensive study and analysis of the wholesale market role and importance to the European food distribution chain; the last survey completed was entitled: “The Importance of Wholesale Markets in Food Distribution in 2013”.
- Proposed a new definition of a 'wholesale market' to be promoted and adopted at the European level.
- Met with various European Commissioners and representatives within the following Directorates of the European Commission: DG Health and Consumer Protection; DG Competition; DG Agriculture; DG Internal Market Services; DG Enterprise.
- WUWM is a member of the European Commission’s Sherpa High-Level Forum for a Better Functioning Food Supply Chain.
- On several occasions WUWM representatives have met with Members of the European Parliament to discuss issues directly impacting wholesale / retail markets, as well as consumers and the food sector generally.
- The European Working Group produced a WUWM Guide to Good Hygienic Practice for Wholesale Market Management in the EU which was adopted by the European Commission in December 2009 as the European Community Guide for the sector.
- WUWM has provided formal input into the European Commission's Agriculture DG consultation regarding the new Fruit and Vegetable Common Market Organization; the DG for Internal Market Services EC Retail Market Monitoring Report “Towards fairer and more efficient retail services for 2020”; the European Commission’s public consultation on sustainable food; and more recently, the Commission’s (SANCO) questionnaire consultation on EU Food Safety in 2050.
- In 2013 WUWM participated in “A Fair Food Chain for All” Creating Fairness in the Food Supply Chain, Copa-Cogeca Meeting in Brussels.
- This working group has also prepared a report on the environmental impact of wholesale markets in Europe; and developed links with other (European) associations that aim to increase the promotion and consolidation of wholesale markets within the European food distribution chain.
- WUWM is a partner of the FAO Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction (Save Food) and any activity in this area is via this European working group.
Mr Zengjun Ma
Under the leadership of Mr Zengjun Ma, Chairman of the Chinese Agricultural Wholesale Market Association (CAWA), the WUWM Asia-Pacific Regional Group (APRG) has over recent years supported several regional market conferences within China.
The Asia-Pacific Working Group in WUWM has identified three core activities for collaboration between members in the region: the first being the drafting of a regional guide to good practice, the second includes initiating new data collection on the economic role of markets in the region, and a third activity relates to a regional survey defining wholesale-retail relations within the participating regional countries. Work on these issues began in late 2009 and will continue through 2010 and beyond.
The APRG held three regional meetings in 2013 which brought together markets from 10 countries in the region. The group continues to work on its core activities, thus improving collaboration between members. WUWM membership continues to rapidly increase in the region, especially within India and China.
Member markets in the America’s region have met together on several occasions throughout the past years. Since early 2013 the leadership of Mr João Alberto Paixão Lages, (Abracen, Brazil) of this working group has intensified the collaboration between members in the region.
Activities include a review of member marketing activities and practices in the sector - a focal point of interest for several key members. Discussions are also underway regarding the future possibility for the regional section to:
- Produce a regional hygiene Good Practice Guide for member markets;
- Develop a website for commercial exchange;
- Communicate directly with national/local government decision-makers in the region as regards the role and importance of food markets in ensuring food security, transparency, access and availability.
In follow-up to the 28th WUWM Congress hosted by Chile, new areas for future collaboration were discussed, with a member survey undertaken to better understand the technical areas most suited for regional information exchange.