Three work lines that the sector must implement if it wants to face the future with confidence emerged during the conferences and round-table sessions. The sector must be restructured, the services that wholesalers provide for customers have to improve, closer ties must be forged with the hospitality and major distribution channels and traceability has to be implemented in the Wholesale Markets.
With respect to sector restructuring, the Congress resulted in a commitment to boost the processes of horizontal integration (fostering mergers between wholesalers) and vertical integration (with agreements particularly in the logistics area with the fisheries and aquaculture sector). Mercasa Chair Juan Ignacio Cruz Roche said the strategy was needed for firms to improve their businesses because “getting wholesalers to join forces will make it possible to adapt the sector to the market reality and make them much stronger at all levels, while vertical integration will save costs and deliver economies of scale”.
Actions with the Major Distribution and Hospitality Channels
The Congress also saw the sector agree to initiate actions to build up its impact on the hospitality channel, offering more solutions in the field of distribution and services.
There was also an agreement to organise meetings with the major distribution channel to learn more about their requirements and to expand business lines. The General Manager of the Spanish Association of Supermarkets (ASEDAS), Ignacio García Margazo, said the wholesale sector has to offer “greater product volumes, standardised qualities, a permanent offer, better business hours and it must unify sales formats” if it wants to access the major distribution segment.
With respect to customers, the Chair of the Wholesale Dealers’ Association (GMP), Leandre Serra, said, “We have to create more sales channels,” and proposed learning more with regard to “immigrant customers” and “boosting fish sales at street markets”.
The round-table session entitled “Wholesale Businesses and the Future of the Sector”, which included the participation of the Managing Director of Mercabarna, Montserrat Gil de Bernabé, also addressed the issue of municipal market customers. The session highlighted the need to adapt to changing customer demands and seek ways to connect with them (and with the public at large) in terms of the values the wholesale sector can contribute to the marketing of fishery products.
For further information on the conference and round-table sessions content see: www.anmape.es