WUWM Retail Declaration

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July 4, 2012

On the occasion of the 5th World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) Retail Conference held in Madrid, Spain from 2 to 3 July 2012, under the theme: "Retail Markets: Close to Consumer, Close to Community", 125 delegates from 13 countries gathered to express unanimous agreement of the following: - Retail Markets in Spain in 2011 numbered some 75,000 market stalls, generating about 270.000 direct jobs, the product value being estimated in the region of some Euro 5billion. This includes 1,900,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables; 225,000 tonnes of fish; and 425,000 tonnes of meat and meat products annually. - Additionally, in 2011 Municipal Retail Markets in Spain distributed some 11.5% of the fish (225.000 tonnes) and 10% of the seafood, molluscs and crustaceans consumed in the country. They also distribute 9% of the fresh fruit and 8.5% of the fresh vegetables (2million tonnes) consumed annually by Spanish citizens; alongside 7% of the country’s fresh meat (425,000 tonnes) annual consumption. - A European retail market study launched by WUWM in 2008 shows that at least 25,000 retail markets exist within the EU alone, with more than 450,000 retail market traders operating businesses on those markets. Additionally, more than 1 million people are employed on EU retail markets, with the total turnover surpassing Euro 35billion. - Retail markets are a vital element in the structuring of cities and are essential tools for commercial urbanisation. ‘Traditional’ market does not mean ‘old’ market. Markets are ‘traditional’ in the sense that they respect and utilise historical architecture, offer consumers attention and personalised service, and allow communities vibrant, safe, entertaining and attractive inner-city meeting place, along with offering other social and economic benefits. Today’s retail markets offer a wide range and variety of product and services in a modern commercialised setting. - City developers appreciate markets as new urban development tools, being an important element of the “slow city” concept: cities where inhabitants can leisurely shop for small volumes, several times a week, within walking distance from their home or office, negating the use of a car and thus limiting environmental damage (e.g. pollution, congestion, etc), and counteracting past large city trends which encouraged inhabitants to visit suburban-placed hypermarkets, often destructive to inner-city centre commerce and vibrancy. - Local markets support local production: although traditional retail markets offer imported products from various countries. Local markets are key to selling local product (often seasonal), with the additional positive knock-on effect of increasing local business income, limiting transportation, and increasing public healthy eating, etc. - WUWM supports joint collaborative approaches to the European Commission in terms of excellence, innovation and good practice; we look forward in the future to further strengthening our contacts and activities in this area. In closing, we take this opportunity to thank MERCASA for their hosting of this event.