Declaration from 26th WUWM Congress, Copenhagen

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October 8, 2008

The recent WUWM 26th Congress held in Copenhagen, Denmark was a resounding success with participation from over 30 countries. Further information on this congress will be forthcoming shortly, however in the meantime please find below a copy of the Declaration resulting from this event: On the occasion of the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) 26th Congress held in Copenhagen, Denmark under the theme: "Every business is a growth business as long as you know where to look", delegates from 30 countries gather here today to express unanimous agreement of the following: • We thank the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mariann Fisher Boel, for her support and recognition of the value of the work of WUWM and its members within Europe, as well as the invitation for further involvement and feedback in helping to achieve the goals and aims of her Directive. • We reinforce our commitment to strengthen WUWM collaboration with the European Commission, notably with the DG for Agriculture and Rural Development as well as that with SANCO within the DG for Health and Consumer Protection. • We use this occasion to reinforce the economic benefits of our global wholesale market membership which, from our most recent member survey, employ over a quarter of a million people, turnover 55.5 billion Euros a year, and have a throughput of 54 million tonnes of fresh produce. Over 100,000 businesses are situated on our markets. • We also note the important economic role of markets by providing competition and choice for customers via an alternative food channel. They also allow producers access to an efficient supply and distribution channel, improve availability and affordability through market-led price transparency, and support small business development. • We reinforce the immense social benefits to be derived from wholesale and retail markets, such as employment, urban regeneration, health and environment. We recognise that food safety and hygiene measures are important, and we urge the European Commission to recognise that quality and taste are vital in ensuring enjoyment of fresh produce by consumers which in turn will achieve the aim of increased fresh fruit and vegetable consumption. • Wholesale markets are constantly improving their facilities and scope to reinforce their economic and social functions. This requires huge investments and at times even relocation within city environs to establish strengthened food quality and safety platforms; such as can be evidenced by the very successful market developments currently being undertaken by the Copenhagen Market in Denmark. • We urge the European Commission and other international and regional bodies to support and facilitate WUWM access to marketing and promotional funding in order that retail and wholesale markets can promote healthy and high quality fresh produce, and support the movement for increased fresh fruit and vegetable consumption, not only in Europe but globally. • WUWM is the foremost international representative body for the wholesale and retail market sectors. Through our global contacts and partnership working with government and non-government organisations we aim to ensure an increased profile for markets on the local, national and international agenda, being effective tools with which to build and support local and regional food economies. This is especially important in this time of rising food prices and food shortages: though we consider that the recent rise of food prices is a “bubble” rather than a permanent effect within the global food economy. Our markets help to bring to consumers the best price - quality ratio through open competitiveness, choice and efficiency. • WUWM provides the means for effective and efficient information exchange; is involved in supporting and addressing market activities and issues; facilitates increased professionalism within the market sector; and develops strengthened links in the food chain. Through meeting these objectives we continue to ensure markets are well positioned to meet increasingly stringent regulations and growing demands such as with hygiene, traceability, technology, and quality standards – these being essential qualities for any market to successfully compete in current and future global food distribution. Copenhagen, Denmark 3 October 2008