WUWM Bremen Conference

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October 10, 2006

The recent WUWM Conference hosted by Grossmarkt Bremen in Germany was a great success with more than 130 people from 26 countries attending the event. The theme of the conference was “Markets in Partnership”, with discussions held on topics that included: Traditional Retailers versus Chain Retailers on the Market; Food Markets - Managing the Relationship with Retailers; Recycling and Market Waste; International Food Standard Compliance; and Educating the Public on the Benefits of Markets. The conference enjoyed support from Mayor Thomas Röwekamp, Senator of the Interior and Sports, as well as Minister Ronald-Mike Neumeyer, Minister for Town Development and Environment. This event received good sponsorship from Messe Berlin (Fruit Logistica), the Atlanta Group, Plattenhardt and Wirth GmbH, Messe Bremen GmbH, Chiquita, and Nehlsen AGI. Support from the media was also good with journalists from the Fresh Produce Journal and Fruchthandel Magazin also in attendance. A technical visit was made to the Grossmarkt Bremen, as well as to the city’s weekly retail markets. The original publicly-owned wholesale market in Bremen was built in 1962. However a new Grossmarkt Bremen (see photo attached) was built on a different site near the airport to replace that facility in 2002. The market is 16 hectares in size and serves a population of 1.5 million. There are roughly 500 daily visitors to the market, with market halls for fruit and vegetables, fish, as well as flowers. There are 120 producers/traders on the market, and the market authority employs some 20 persons. In total the market employs some 550 persons, and has an annual turnover of about 190,000 tonne and 250 million Euro. Speaker presentations from this Bremen Conference have been uploaded to the WUWM website member-only section, along with various photos taken at the event. The minutes arising from the WUWM annual general meeting will be distributed to members shortly. In brief, some main decisions adopted at that meeting are as follows: 1.Unification of the Latin American and North American regional working groups into one regional group which will encompass all of the Americas; 2. A new category of WUWM membership for consultant entities; 3. A proposed name change of the WUWM (to incorporate the new retail market involvement) will be further discussed with members in 2007. Until such time as this discussion is finalised, a strap-line will be formally incorporated into WUWM correspondence and communications. That strap-line will read: WUWM – promoting wholesale and retail markets world-wide. 4. Agreement on the process to develop the data held by WUWM on member markets, along with agreement on the presentation of this information publicly, as well as internally, in WUWM communication vehicles. Information on the outcome of WUWM regional and working group meetings in Bremen will be distributed to members directly.