Melbourne’s markets set to shine globally with the winning bid to host the World Union of Wholesale Markets Congress 2017

23 May 2016

Melbourne is set to host the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) Congress in September 2017 putting the new wholesale Melbourne Market at Epping, its world class infrastructure and the $250 million renewal of the iconic Queen Victoria Market, on the global agenda.


This also presents significant opportunities to profile the quality and diversity of Australian grown produce available for export.


The Melbourne Market Authority (MMA) and the Queen Victoria Market’s winning bid to host the World Congress was officially announced at the WUWM Conference held in Poland on 20 May 2016.


“The coming together of these two great markets to host the world congress will enable the development and delivery of a program that attracts the interest of wholesale and retail markets around the world”, says Stephen McArthur, Chairman of the MMA and Paul Guerra, Chairman of the Queen Victoria Market.


Rarely held outside Europe, the congress was last held in Australia in 1989. This is the first time that Melbourne will be host.


“From Bundaberg to Bendigo, Carnarvon to Corangamite, Australian horticulture is world class. This is a great opportunity for the Australian horticulture sector to not only showcase our produce, but also the new technologies and innovations being implemented nationwide”, says Mr McArthur.


The congress is held every two years and is open to both members and non-members of the WUWM. Relevant to all sectors of the fresh produce community, the congress is set to attract around 300 overseas and local delegates and covers key issues including the changing retail landscape, the impact of new technologies, the digital revolution and strategies for the future.


The congress will include technical visits of two of Australia’s great Markets, the Melbourne Market (wholesale) and the Queen Victoria Market (retail) showcasing Melbourne as a true market city with participants able to spend an entire day, or more learning about the inner workings of Melbourne’s market life.


“This congress couldn’t happen at a more exciting time for Melbourne and the Queen Victoria Market. We’re about to embark on a renewal program that will preserve and celebrate the market’s history and authentic atmosphere while allowing the market precinct to evolve to meet contemporary needs of traders, customers and our growing city. The congress presents a great opportunity to showcase Melbourne’s great markets while learning and sharing with other industry experts around the world,” says Mr Guerra.



The congress will conclude with an options visit to Sydney for a tour of the Flemington and Haymarket sites.


The announcement of the congress win comes in conjunction with the Melbourne Market Authority receiving an international award by the WUWM for Reducing Food Loss and Food Waste.  The range of new technologies and innovations in both infrastructure and behaviour change programs has ensured Melbourne is a world leader in this field.


This is complimented by food redistribution programs benefiting struggling Victorians via Foodbank Victoria and the animals of the Melbourne Zoo, with over 650 and 36 tonnes of produce respectively donated annually.


In addition to the food redistribution programs, the Markets’ infrastructure minimises the risk of food loss in the supply chain and boasts increased efficiencies via a central cooling system, resulting in an estimated 40 per cent reduction in CO2 output, equivalent of removing 4000 cars from the road.


“Perhaps one of our greatest achievements at this new facility is the ability to incorporate world-class technology to reduce our impact on the environment. This award win recognises the intelligent design of a site that has been custom made to meet the needs of a growing industry”, says Mr McArthur


Delegates to the congress will tour the new Epping facility and see first-hand the world class infrastructure and programs contributing to the award win.


The MMA and the Queen Victoria Market will work together over the coming months to develop a program of events to showcase Australia’s fresh produce industry, our innovations and future.


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