An important meeting of the European Working Group of the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) was convened on the 23rd September 2019, in Athens.
The meeting was hosted by the Central Markets and Fishery Organizations (CMFO) S.A. of Greece.
Representatives of the European Markets – members of the Union participated in the meeting, namely from the markets of Greece, Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Hungary and Romania.
The focal point of the meeting was to examine the next steps the Union needs to take, in order to promote the first European Wholesale Markets Common Declaration, adopted in Paris in July 2018. This Declaration, signed by all the European markets, members of the Union – 120 markets representing 22 European countries – aims at strengthening cooperation between them to increase their visibility at the level of the European and international institutions. It highlights the importance of the wholesale market model for ensuring key EU policies, such as food security, the circular economy, supply, distribution and traceability of fresh produce to European citizens, but above all the fundamental function of wholesale markets in valuing agricultural production and safeguarding the European agricultural model based on the diversity of its products.
In addition, the agenda included preparing and realizing a common EU strategy, in terms of identifying the goals, scheduling meetings with EU officials and ensuring funding sources.
Furthermore, attendants were updated on matters of high importance to European Markets, such as changes in current EU legislation, Price Observatories, as well as forthcoming developments in view of Brexit.
Finally, proposals regarding undertaking joint initiatives by the European Markets (e.g. “Save Food”), as well as their common involvement in relevant endeavors, organized by Universities or Organizations such as FAO were discussed.
As Mr Giannis Triantafyllis, Chairman of WUWM’s European Group, stated in his opening speech: “European Markets have decided to strengthen the ties among them, and to show their usefulness for the European citizens and farmers. We are planning common actions and we are willing to work with the new Commission in order to promote every link of the food supply chain”
The European Working Group is part of WUWM and comprises 120 wholesale markets representing 22 EU countries. The companies operating on these markets have in total more than 1.000.000 permanent employees and a yearly turnover of around €42 billions. The overall volume of marketed produce represents around 26 million tons per year, which equates to approximately 40% of the fruit and vegetable supply in Europe (24 million tons per annum), 10% of fish and fish products supply in Europe (1 million tons per annum), and 2% of meat and meat product supply in Europe (1 million tons per annum).