Over 250 people from 35 countries, representing thousands of fresh food markets, attended the first conference of the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) for 2015, jointly hosted by the Budapest wholesale market ‘Nagybani PIAC’ and the Metropolitan Municipality Hall and Market Directorate. Delegates were treated to a dynamic line-up of international speakers and presenters, as well as impressive technical market visits.
The opening ceremony included Dr Sándor Fazekas, the Hungarian Minister of Agriculture; Dr Gábor Bagdy, the Deputy Mayor of Budapest; and Manuel Estrada-Nora, WUWM Chairman and Mercasa International Department Chief, Spain.
The key-note speaker, Mr Zoltán Fodor, Agricultural Director of the Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture was followed by an array of both international and national market specialists discussing topical issues related to wholesale-retail market promotional campaigns, the economic impact of markets on communities, real-time market renovations, as well as the increasingly important area of minimising food loss and food wastage.
An important Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed during the event between the WUWM and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO). This MoU provides the framework for a partnering to promote sustainability and inclusiveness in the wholesale sector, including developing “best practices” for reducing food waste.
The MoU was signed by the WUWM Chairman Manuel Estrada-Bora, and Vladimir Rakhmanin, FAO regional representative for Central Asia and Eastern Europe. More information on the partnership is available at: http://www.wuwm.org/7xr/news/new-fao-partnership-with-the-world-union-of-w.html
Technical Market Tours
The conference market visits included a midnight tour of the wholesale fruit and vegetable market of Budapest – the largest farmer and distribution market in the country, operating six days a week. The 32ha (28,700 m2 built-up area) market boasts over 200 businesses, more than 1,650 employees, and an annual tonnage of 400,000. Established in 1991, it serves a population of 2.5 million, trading mostly fresh products that includes fruits and vegetables, meats and meat products.
The Metropolitan Municipality Hall and Market Directorate – an organization of the retail markets operating in the Hungarian capital, engaged delegates with a delightful closing dinner in the famous Budapest Central Market Hall in Fővám square, once chosen by CNN as the most beautiful and best market in Europe; and a Saturday visit to the neighbourhood retail market in Fehérvári Street.
WUWM Board of Director Elections
This Budapest WUWM Conference was also the venue for the WUWM 2015 Board of Director elections. The current WUWM Chairman, Manuel Estrada-Nora, was re-elected for a further one year mandate with Dr Donald Darnall, Executive Director of the Maryland Food Center Authority (MFCA) in Baltimore, USA being elected WUWM vice-Chairman.
Four new Directors were appointed to the WUWM Board including: Andrés de Pando, International Director of Mercasa, Spain; Fabio Massimo Pallottini, Chairman of CAR, Rome, Italy; Mário Maurici de Lima Morais, Chairman of ABRACEN, Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Ioannis (John) Triantafyllis, CMO of Athens Central Market in Greece. They join existing and/or re-elected Board members available at this link: http://wuwm.org/membership/tour