WUWM Meeting with EC Commissioner Kyprianou

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July 28, 2006
A meeting was held in Thessalonica, Greece on Friday 28 July between representatives of the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) and the European Commissioner for the Health and Consumer Protection DG, Mr Markos Kyprianou.

Mr Kyprianou met with WUWM vice Chairman, Graham Wallace of Glasgow Markets; Athens Market CEO, Kouvelis Pantelis; and the Paris Rungis Market General Secretary, Michel Ganneau. In addition to Commissioner Kyprianou, the meeting also included Margaritis Schinas, Head of Cabinet.

This meeting provided WUWM with the opportunity to directly show the scale and importance food wholesale markets have in the fruit and vegetable trade throughout Europe. Wholesale markets are directly involved in 40% of European fruit and vegetable supply, accommodating more than 80,000 permanent operators, over 153,000 employees, and marketed volumes representing more than 26million tons a year.

WUWM used the opportunity of this meeting to discuss several issues linked with SANCO. This included the proposed revision of the definition of a wholesale market as given in the EU 'hygiene package'. As the current definition does not take into account the existence of wholesale market authorities, WUWM has requested that a revised definition be introduced into future documents and Regulations.

The WUWM Guide to Good Practice for Wholesale Market Authorities in the European Community was also discussed. This Guide was sent to SANCO in early 2006 and is currently being reviewed by the Standing Committee on Food Chain and Animal Health (SCFCAH) and EU member states. After completion of the review process, this WUWM document will likely be considered the European Community Guide for the sector.

Further to the meeting discussions, the issue of “services of general interest” (as defined in the Treaty of the European Union) and its relevance and application to wholesale markets was discussed, as was the reform of the Common Market Organization (CMO) for fruit and vegetables, on which the Commission (DG Agriculture) has opened a consultation process.

Caption (left to right): Mr Pantelis KOUVELIS, Chairman and CEO of Athens Central Market (OKAA), Graham WALLACE, vice-Chairman of WUWM and CEO of Glasgow wholesale market; Mr Markos KYPRIANOU, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection (SANCO); Michel GANNEAU, General Secretary of Rungis wholesale market; Mr Margaritis SCHINAS, Head of Cabinet and another member of Cabinet.