Stéphane Layani, chairman and CEO of Semmaris, the management company of Rungis International Market in Paris, is poised to begin his four-year presidency of the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM).
Layani's inauguration will take place on the occasion of the WUWM Conference, which takes place on 25 June in Florence with the theme, "The distribution of fresh produce in the world post-Covid-19: challenges, opportunities and avenues to ensure resilient and sustainable food systems and access to healthy food”.
He replaces outgoing president Zengjun Ma, chairman of the Chinese Association of Wholesale markets (CAWA).
Layani praised Ma for his efforts, calling him a "great and dedicated WUWM leader". "I fully understand that now is the time for him to focus on CAWA’s and China’s challenges," said Layani, "and I am grateful to still have him as a special advisor.”
Layani said that wholesale markets should be proud of their work during the Covid-19 crisis. “If the supply chain resisted, it is because the wholesale markets were there,” he stated.
He added that consumers increasingly wanted to eat fresh, local produce with a lower environmental impact and with a guarantee of traceability and safety. Wholesale markets, he said, were the only ones with the structure to provide for this demand.
Layani is a former student of the elite ENA school. After creating the Economic Committee for Medicines, he worked with several ministers, before becoming deputy director of the Consular Chambers.
After passing through the General Inspectorate of Finance, he became CEO of ANGDM in 2006, before being appointed chairman and CEO of Semmaris in 2012. He has held the role of acting chairman of WUWM since July 2020.