WUWM Conference in Berlin
Declaration WUWM Conference – 22-25 May 2012 – Berlin, Germany
On the occasion of the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) Conference held in Berlin, Germany under the theme: “The Green Market: A Profitable Investment”, 170 professionals from 24 countries gather here today to express unanimous agreement of the following:
Fresh food wholesale markets perform the vital role of offering producers a unique and vital alternative route to market. These markets also provide for increased farm to fork food chain efficiency, ensure price transparency, and are an important promotional vehicle for the increased public consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables, promoting healthy eating initiatives.
The host of this WUWM event - Berliner Grossmarkt (BGM) - currently provides 500,000 tonnes of fresh produce to 6 million citizens in Germany annually, directly (and indirectly) employing 2,500 people in the process.
This international gathering of the markets community notes sustainability as one of the biggest challenges to face food markets, and the world, in the coming years. We applaud the many wholesale markets throughout the world that are actively contributing to the improved protection of the environment, alongside the effective reduction of carbon emissions. As one example, in supporting Berlin’s status as the capital of green economy in Germany, BGM will continue to work towards enhanced climate protection, together with regional entrepreneurs in development, industry production and consulting; such investments being essential to its long-term survival in a highly competitive market. Over the next three years, BGM will implement several important projects that promote solar power, modern cooling facilities, and regional heating systems. These projects will have a strongly positive impact on the operating costs of the tenants of the market. These investments in climate protection will also influence the market’s long-term economic viability, as well as its resources and energy efficiency, positively impacting the development of the market in the fresh produce trade of the future.
Furthermore, WUWM notes the following important points resulting from the technical discussions held during this conference:
> Ensuring an adequate investment in buildings can reduce operating costs up to 30% and gives landlords more flexibility in negotiation of the rent as well as giving them a locational advantage;
> Photovoltaic is not the only way of producing and using renewable energy. A combination of facilities for power generation, heating and cooling can reduce operating costs in the long run by short payback periods. The basis for this decision-making process should rely on detailed consumption data;
> The field trip made to Feldheim during the conference, alongside the current plans of the Berlin wholesale market, show us that moderate investment - for example in a biogas plant - can bring about opportunities to reduce heating costs by about 50%.
> One topic discussed was also the preparation for and management of incidents and disasters; the discussion focussed specifically on identifying ways and means to successfully resolve the situation. Another important aspect in this context was choosing the right insurance strategy in order to be prepared for disasters.
In closing, we take this opportunity to thank the Berliner Grossmarkt (BGM) for its hosting of this WUWM Conference. We also thank the Senate of Berlin, Fruchthandel Magazin, Fruit Logistica, DEAS, Energiequelle, Weihe and the national wholesale market association GFI German Fresh Food Markets for their good support and invaluable sponsorship of this event.