Mercasa’s international activity has significantly stepped up in the past years, with an increasing demand above all from municipal governments or administrations of developing countries wishing to take a closer look at Mercasa’s experience and to use it as a point of reference in order to enhance their infrastructures and services.
Mercasa’s international activity includes:
• Food Unit and Retail Market Management and administration procedures.
• Training courses.
• Project feasibility studies aimed at wholesale and retail business equipment.
• Project management and execution.
In association with various consultancy, engineering and foreign trade companies of Spain, Mercasa continues to work on market design and construction projects in the Dominican Republic and Angola. In the case of the Dominican Republic, the scope of work has been extended and now covers the remodeling of two retail municipal markets. In the case of Angola, four warehouses have been put up, which will accommodate wholesalers of agro-foodstuffs and complementary products, and technical work has been undertaken on the Logistics and Distribution Center “CLOD-Luanda” wholesale food complex. Also as part of the activities under way in Angola, a training program for managers and professionals has been developed and technical assistance has been provided for the management of the aforementioned CLOD.
In July 2010 the Government of Panama commissioned Mercasa to develop a project to upgrade its wholesale and retail food distribution structures, thereby boosting an ambitious program to improve food supply and safety in the country. Mercasa’s task focused on studying the structural design, drawing up an execution project and providing advice and training for implementing a wholesale distribution platform and seven retail markets, in addition to monitoring and supporting management activities once the markets become operational, an essential factor for the commissioning of these infrastructures.
In the past years Mercasa’s international activity has also revolved around retail municipal markets. In this sense, promotional actions were carried out in countries where the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) is present, such as Santa Fe (Argentina), amongst others, with a view to starting new projects in some of these countries with the support of AECID.
Mercasa has also signed an agreement with the Government of Costa Rica to develop the Retail Market project of the town of Alajuela. Mercasa will provide technical assistance to design a new market that will act as the driving force of economic growth and social dynamization. This project has its origins in the collaboration that started back in 2006 between Mercasa and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to promote retail markets as an engine of social and economic development in Latin America.
It should also be noted that Mercasa takes part in the online qualification courses “Domestic Trade: Models and Challenges Public Service and Private Initiative”, which are financed by the Spanish Foreign Trade Institute (ICEX), the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) and the Foundation and Center for Distance Learning for Economic and Technological Development (CEDDET) aimed at South-American audiences.
In addition, Mercasa, in collaboration with Mercapalma and the Town Council of Palma, organized the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) conference from 14 to 17 September 2010 under the theme “A global supply to meet demands of all kind”. Important debates were held on the future of Wholesale Markets with the participation of approximately 200 delegates from 35 different countries.
WORLD UNION OF WHOLESALE MARKETS (WUWM)
For years Mercasa has played a very active role in the World Union of Wholesale Markets, the international body that promotes the international exchange of information on wholesale markets with a view to enhancing their construction, design, organization and management, and to encourage international assistance in the field of wholesale distribution of foodstuffs.
Because of this Mercasa accords a strategic character to its international activity and gives priority and high relevance to contacts with the large business groups or the public institutions responsible for promoting wholesale distribution centers of perishable products when projects of this kind are undertaken anywhere in the world.
Mercasa continues to be a member of reference within the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM), an international association that has seen its membership numbers increase in the past years, thanks to the adhesion of markets from the Latin American and Asia/Pacific areas. Mercasa is also involved in several work groups set up within the WUWM and dealing with aspects of special interest, such as those relating to EU rules and regulations (European Union Group), and the dissemination and encouragement of good practices in the management of traditional retail markets in the perishable produce distribution chain (Retail Markets Group).
The Palma de Mallorca Conference touches on major issues about the future of Wholesale Markets
The Conference of the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) held in Palma de Mallorca from 14 to 17 September 2010 touched on major issues about the future of wholesale markets, following the intervention of the 40 speakers and panelists that participated in the five working sessions included in the Conference program under the theme “A global supply to meet demands of all kind”.
The main debates focused on the need to define the response of wholesale markets in the face of the new international economic scene; assuming environmental management as a social responsibility and a business opportunity; and seeing the contribution of wholesale markets to healthy eating habits as a challenge.
The Conference also approached the reality of retail municipal markets, which are a key element in the commercial urbanism of cities and the distribution of fresh produce.
Mercasa and Mercapalma, who organized the Conference, consider that the results obtained are very positive and are grateful for the high attendance levels at the conference, which included more than 200 professionals, managers and institutional heads of wholesale markets from 30 countries.
Mercasa and Mercapalma consider that the results obtained at the Palma de Mallorca Conference are very positive, are satisfied with the high level of attendance, and emphasize the response of wholesale markets from around the world.