Over 250 people from 35 countries, representing thousands of fresh food markets, attended the first conference organised by the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) in 2015.
The event, which took place at the end of May at Budapest’s Nagybani PIAC wholesale market, featured presentations from a range of international specialists discussing topical issues related to wholesale-retail market promotional campaigns, the economic impact of markets on communities, real-time market renovations, and how to minimise food loss and food waste.
During the conference, WUWM and the United National Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) signed a memorandum of understanding providing the framework for a partnership to promote sustainability and inclusiveness in the wholesale sector, including the development of best practices for reducing food waste.
Delegates also took part in technical market visits, including a midnight tour of Budapest’s wholesale fruit and vegetable market, the largest farmer and distribution market in the country. Open six days a week, the 32ha market serves a population of 2.5m. It houses over 200 businesses, employs more than 1,650 people and handles 400,000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables a year.
On the last day, the Metropolitan Municipality Hall and Market Directorate, an organisation of the retail markets operating in the Hungarian capital, hosted a 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 neighborhood retail market in Fehérvári Street.
The conference was also the venue for the WUWM 2015 board of director elections which saw current chairman, Manuel Estrada-Nora, re-elected for a further one year mandate and Dr Donald Darnall, executive director of the Maryland Food Centre Authority (MFCA) in Baltimore being elected vice-chairman.