All European wholesale markets, members of the WUWM, got together to speak with one voice of their key role in safeguarding the EU’s agricultural model and act for greater recognition of their action at the level of the European and international institutions.
European members of the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) met earlier this month at the French Ministry of Agriculture to sign an unprecedented declaration that aims to strengthen collaboration between European markets to increase their visibility at the level of the European and international institutions.
This Declaration, signed by all the markets, members of the Federation – 120 markets representing 22 European countries – 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 diversity of its products.
Markets are key players in the agri-food chain, they serve European politicians and citizens, but are often forgotten by European and international institutions compared to other food players (farmers, retailers, supermarkets). Yet, wholesale markets are one of the most important links in the EU food supply chain (25 million tons of fresh produce, about 40% of the fruit and vegetable supply, 200 million European consumers). As a result, they ask to be heard in the debates and strategic orientations of the sector.
Invisible to the general public, but playing a vital role, their model facilitates the supply chain of end-to-end fresh produce while at the same time providing market access to thousands of small businesses and local producers.
Their system ensures the durability of the production, the fluidity of the distribution, a very great diversity of products, a good regulation of the prices compared to the mass distribution, a controlled traceability of products and the minimization of waste. The variety and diversification of products ensures that there is a multitude of choices, at an affordable price, good value, a healthy food even for modest consumers.
“Nowadays, the challenge for the European wholesale market model is to enhance the attractiveness and competitiveness of European production, which cannot be won by weakening the diversity of supply but, on the contrary, by intensifying it.
Supermarkets, hypermarkets and multinational discounters have an interest in reducing the diversity of the supply chain as it simplifies and makes their purchasing and inventory control easier. It is important that consumers continue to have a selection of products as wide as possible. European governments and international institutions have a role to play in improving consumers’ knowledge and understanding of the diversity of fresh and high quality products” they state.
In this document the markets also commit themselves to increase their cooperation to improve the regulation of the sector in order to increase their performance and competitiveness, develop innovations to promote high technology and further support European agricultural production, promote high distribution quality of fresh products in the EU as well as investing in the development of new challenges in the sector (digital markets, clean logistics and last mile delivery, product traceability, waste management, organic products, etc.).
Giannis Triantafyllis, Chairman of the WUWM European Group, CEO of the Athens Wholesale Market said,
“The Joint Declaration of European Wholesale Markets is a solid foundation on which we can engage in constructive discussions with the European Institutions. This act is truly founder, for two reasons: it allows us first to see the continuation of the activity, and then marks the starting point for enhanced cooperation with European and international institutions. ”
“Today is a great day for the markets, with the participants representing the main European wholesale markets in almost all European countries. After a lot of discussions, the markets have developed a position paper providing our ambitions and our targets. It will be used as an instrument to highlight the fundamental function of wholesale markets in the food supply chain and in valuing agricultural production and safeguarding the European agricultural model “.