WUWM Welcomes New Chairman and Board

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May 30, 2013
Board elections were recently conducted during the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) annual general meeting held in Helsinki, Finland from 23-25 May 2013.

Hosted by the City of Helsinki Wholesale Market and held under the theme: “Fresh Market Management: Meeting Customer Needs”, some 120 food market professionals from 30 countries explored issues topical to fresh food markets today, including food price transparency, building beneficial food cultures in cities, quality management, and the changing face of market customers.

During this event, Manuel Estrada-Nora, Chief of the International Department, Mercasa, Madrid, Spain assumed the position of WUWM Chairman, taking over from Torben Flinch the former managing director of Copenhagen Markets in Denmark. Additionally, Torsten Berens, Managing Director of Hamburg Market in Germany was elected vice-Chairman.

On his succession to the Chair position, Estrada-Nora noted his enthusiasm for being offered the opportunity to serve WUWM. A member of the WUWM Board for several years, he informed of his pride at the significant progress that had been made the past 2 ½ years under the leadership of Torben Flinch. He expressed to be confident that WUWM would continue as a unique worldwide knowledge community on food markets both wholesale and retail, and the premier international organization in its sector to support and promote food markets, promoting their important role in local food supply chains, and as effective organization for the exchange of ideas and professional experience among its more than 200 members all over the world.

“We are operating in a time when the important role that food markets occupy, and the significance of their participation in the food supply chain, depends on market management and market traders working together side-by-side…pursuing common goals and objectives”, he said.
“It is rewarding to see over the past years, how a high level of collaboration has been fostered by our association among all sectors of the food market industry” he informed conference delegates.
“Under my two year mandate that now begins, WUWM will continue promoting and supporting food wholesale and retail markets, before national and international authorities and multilateral bodies. Having better wholesale markets we support the entrepreneurial private activity of hundreds of wholesalers, retailers, catering, hospitality, logistic companies, and, in short a better functioning of the distribution chain of perishable food products for the benefit of the we all, consumers”.
“By supporting professional market management and the introduction of good practices, innovation and excellence, we can help our member markets achieve a high level of efficiency and effectiveness in adapting the food markets to the challenges of modern distribution and the requirements of quality of food in terms of hygiene and nutrition” he said.

Additional to the Chairman’s succession and the vice-Chairman election, five Director Positions on the WUWM Board were also open to election. The persons successful in being elected were:
• Marcel Verbelen, Mabru, Belgium
• Grzegorz Hempowicz, Poznan Market, Poland
• João Alberto Paixão Lages, ABRACEN, Brazil
• J. S. Yadav, Premium Market, India
• Stéphane Layani, SEMMARIS – Rungis International Market, France

These persons, with mandates through until May 2015, now join the remainder of the WUWM Board of Directors (mandated until May 2014) which includes:
• Donald Darnall, MFCA, Baltimore, USA
• Zengjun Ma, CAWA, Beijing, China
• Timo Taulavuori, City of Helsinki Market, Finland
• Jan Lloyd, New Covent Garden Market London, UK
• Jean-Paul Auguste, Geraud, France

Staggered elections are held for positions on the WUWM Board of Directors in the spring of each year. The WUWM Board, consisting of a Chairman, vice-Chairman and (a maximum of) 11 Directors is responsible for exercising the power of the WUWM membership in the period between annual meetings. WUWM Board members may also be charged with representing particular world regions in the development of, and/or follow-up of, WUWM matters within that region.