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Steven Maxwell


WUWM celebrates local links

Wholesale market conference, held in Shenzhen, China, names prize winners of local produce awards

WUWM celebrates local links
The award winners gather at the WUWM conference for a photocall

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Wholesale markets from nine countries competed for a World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) gold, silver and bronze award during a WUWM Conference hosted by Shenzhen Agricultural Market Products Co Ltd (SZAP) in Shenzhen, China from 18-21 October.

Responding to the theme: ‘Excellence in developing the link between the market and local producers”, the winners were acknowledged in a ceremony held during the closing dinner of the conference on 21 October. 

The wholesale market to win gold was the Marché de Gros Lille – the wholesale market of the city of Lille in France - a 40-year old market with an annual turnover (2010) of 180,000 tonnes and €180m. The 38ha market provides premises to 98 businesses selling fish, flowers, fruit and vegetables, and serves an average of 2,000 customers daily. 

The WUWM Award judging panel included Christo Groenewald, formerly director of Tshwane Market in Pretoria, South Africa, Steve Davies, senior vice-president of the Project for Public Spaces (PPS) in the US and Jørgen Høeg Pedersen, formerly the chief executive of Copenhagen Market in Denmark. 

The Lille Market was awarded gold in recognition of its activities to create value for producers via an 'ASHA' certification programme, which supports high quality while providing producers with fair returns and recognition without impacting price.

Silver was awarded to the Garak Market in Seoul, Korea for its efforts to link producers with consumers, and connect cities with rural areas. The market offers financial support and incentives to local producers and operates/promotes a number of activities which pursue sustainable relations with farm villages. The Garak Market was established in 1985 and is 55ha in size with an annual tonnage of some 2.4m (2009) of fish, fruit and vegetables.

New Covent Garden Market in London, UK was awarded the bronze for its 2009-2011 local food project. In 2007, some 30 per cent of the market’s wholesalers sold no local produce, but thanks to the food project that number was reduced to 6 per cent by 2010. New Covent Garden Market is 22ha in size with an annual (2010) turnover of £580m. The market is home to over 200 businesses trading in fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers. 

Due to the difficult process of identifying just three award winning markets from the high-quality submissions received, a WUWM Certificate of Merit was also granted.

This award was given to Sydney Markets in Australia for providing producers with an environment that supports competitive trade and effective distribution, maximising time efficiencies and minimising costs. Some 98 per cent of produce distributed through the market is locally grown and over 20,000 national growers rely on the markets modern, efficient and technologically advanced facilities and services.  

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