Barcelona's network of municipal markets, managed by IMMB, joined the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) during the course of its 26th biannual conference, held in Copenhagen in the first week of October 2008.
The World Union of Wholesale Markets, created in 2001 and with 38 member countries, has been comprised of wholesale food markets since it was founded and, since 2008, has included retail markets that are interested in sharing experiences and defending traditional food markets in relation to community authorities.
Mercats de Barcelona will combine membership of the WUWM with leadership of Emporion, an association that brings together the best markets on the continent and which has its head office in Barcelona, with the Boqueria market as an emblematic member.
Issues addressed at the conference in Copenhagen, which took place on 1, 2 and 3 October 2008 and was attended by Jordi Tolrà representing the IMMB, included how to improve relations and coordination between markets, transferring good practices, and defending large commercial areas.
Highlights of the WUWM Declaration of 3 October 2008
The 26th WUWM conference thanked the European agriculture commissioner, Mariann Fisher Boel, for her support and the recognition received. They also celebrated the efforts made to establish more effective relations with the European Commission.
The WUWM is made up of approximately 250,000 people; it has an annual turnover of 55.5 billion euros and produces 54 million tonnes of fresh produce.
The WUWM emphasises the importance of markets as they offer alternative means of consumption and also provide producers with new supply routes and distribution channels.
It upholds the great importance of wholesale and retail markets for the jobs they create, the urban regeneration they bring about and the health aspects they offer. The WUWM asks the European Commission to provide support in areas such as hygiene, security and product quality.
The WUWM believes that the European Commission, and other international and regional organisations, should provide support to boost the promotion of high-quality, healthy products, increasing fruit and vegetable consumption both in Europe and in international markets.