An excellent news to see Rungis’ CEO appointed as Chairman of WUMM (World Union of Wholesale Markets) (visit Linkedin post) (*)
As we are slowly, and hopefully, coming out of the pandemic the subject of food security and food safety is in all minds. It is continuously high on the agenda of Rungis, leading wholesale market that has demonstrated its robustness and resilience as part of a strategic intent to tackle such major issues.
Food Security & Safety:
Whilst food security and safety take different shapes and forms depending on public and private sectors they seek to address 2 key components, among others: 1) production 2) supply.
Production naturally addresses the ability to meet population’s demand as much as possible in the safest possible manner. It entails many possibilities but all revolve around the critical target to ensure availability of quantities. Priorities will revolve around increasing production by expending cultivated surface either locally or even via overseas expansion or, organically, by improving yields on existing planted areas
As to supply, it obviously revolves around supply chains, hugely complex permanently moving structures, often regional if not global in nature, which basically ensure that what comes out of the farm goes to the consumer.
And the shorter the chain, the better: quicker delivery, nearby availability, better control over the many variables influencing the supply chains (place of production, weather, intermediaries, transport…) without forgetting the potential positive impact in terms of carbon footprint provided by local, or near-local, production.
More often than not though proximity is not an option especially when dealing with produce that are limited to certain production geographies or seasonality. Of course the diversity of supply chains offers tremendous optionalities for supply and the benefit (among many others) to offer the consumer seasonal products all year round.
However, when it comes to food security and safety optionalities will immediately reduce to the backbone of what is “truly” available. A central part of this backbone is played by the wholesale market.
Because of its size, the market is a core knot where many are meeting; some to sell, some to buy, others to transport, finance etc… And the bigger the more pivotal it becomes as the ecosystem of the wholesale market develops offering growing optionalities of supply, purchase, logistics, services (finance, agents, brokers, restaurants and hotels…).
Ultimately the central role of the wholesale market translates in efficiency of supply chain with price competitiveness and quality differentiation towards participants’ and consumers’ benefits.
A Key Role in Implementation of Public Policies:
Wholesale markets also play a key role in implementation of public policies because of their position in the supply chain as a knot where all converge. Whether it is in terms of agricultural policies, urban and transport policies or public health, food access and social cohesion, the wholesale market offers unparalleled opportunities for public authorities to intervene particularly in challenging times such as a pandemic when decisions and responsiveness are so time sensitive.
This critical role of the wholesale market is also at the centre of legal world’s considerations to call for a different approach to food sector regulation from market to chain from Competition Law to Compliance Law (visit Linkedin post)
It comes as no surprise then that considering the above and in the current context WUMM’s latest meeting was around the theme of: “The distribution of fresh produce in the post-Covid-19 world: challenges, opportunities and avenues to guarantee resilient and sustainable food systems and access to healthy food”.
Rungis’ prime objectives are to fill its strategic intent for food security & safety but also to create a robust network of networks by forging alliances between large wholesale markets globally to prevent again potential dislocations of supply chains. This will no doubt add tremendous drive to the WUMM discussions coming from the perspective of the world’s largest fresh produce market.
(*) English translation
“Global wholesale markets, such as the Rungis SEMMARIS International Market, are an essential link in the food supply of billions of people on the planet. They facilitate access to healthy food by providing more sustainable, inclusive, and high-quality fresh food supply systems.
In order to speak with one voice to public authorities, to exchange, debate and share their ideas and best practices, the wholesale markets come together in a global union; the WUWM World Union of Wholesale Markets, which brings together 217 wholesale markets around the world.
At the end of June 2021, I am honored to take the presidency of WUWM for a period of 4 years, succeeding my Chinese counterpart Zengjun Ma. We are meeting tomorrow in Florence to discuss the future following the pandemic on the theme: “The distribution of fresh produce in the post-Covid-19 world: challenges, opportunities and avenues to guarantee resilient and sustainable food systems and access to healthy food”.”