The largest wholesale market in Central Europe

Budapest is one of the most attractive cities, in Europe, rich in architecture and art. Thanks to its special qualities, it’s a wonderfully located city, divided by the River Danube. Buda, with its beautiful mountainous area, is located on the right bank, while on the left bank of the Danube is the flat plain of Pest, and the two are connected by one of the symbols of the Hungarian capital, the Chain Bridge which was built in the 19th century. There are several World Heritage Sites in Budapest, including the Danube bank, the Buda Castle District, the Andrássy Avenue, the Heroes’ Square and the Millennium Underground Railway. The famous thermal baths and local specialties of the city also attract visitors. The so-called ‘ruin pubs’ (“romkocsma” in Hungarian), beer gardens, museums, bookstores and bistros are very popular places for tourists. It’s no coincidence that several tourists are attracted by the city from all over the world.

One of the capital’s most noteworthy attraction is Central Europe’s largest wholesale market for fresh vegetables and fruits – the Budapest Wholesale Market which was opened in Nagykőrösi Street 25 years ago. Due to its location in the outskirts of the city, the market has excellent transport links; it can easily be accessed by the producers due to the proximity of the M5 motorway and the M0 ring road wherever they come from. The area of the wholesale market used to be ten acres when it was opened and now it’s nearly three and a half times that big.

Today, in the 34.8-hectare-area, there are about 37.966 thousand square meters of storages and cooling warehouses, 5.5 thousand square meters of banana ripening facilities and cold storages, 3700 square meters of covered and 1250 open-air selling places for the producers providing the wholesale trading of retailers and daily „marketer” producers.

The Budapest Wholesale Market is operated by Budapesti Nagybani Piac Zrt. (Budapest Wholesale Market Plc.). The Metropolitan Municipality, with its 62% of the shares, is the major shareholder of the market. The main activity of the Budapest Wholesale Market Plc. is the operation of the market and the utilization of the market infrastructure by leasing. Besides providing high-quality fruit and vegetable supply to the capital, it also contributes with its activities, services, and infrastructure to the secure sales of the agricultural production.

The Budapest Wholesale Market is the natural, concentrated base of fruit and vegetable wholesale trading. The further strengthening its logistical role, is essential for the future of the company. The long-term goal of the Budapest Wholesale Market Plc. is to preserve its current regional and national market role.  International examples also show that besides commercial chain stores and hypermarkets, there is still a need for this form of wholesale market. The main objective of the Budapest Wholesale Market remains to fully provide the small and medium-sized producers with a long-term sales potential of their fresh goods.

A Budapest Wholesale Market Plc. has been a member of WUWM (World Union of Wholesale Markets) since 1991. The alliance was founded in Germany in 1958, with the main objective of getting to know the markets among its members, sharing their experiences, and supporting joint programs. In addition to this, the monitoring of market regulations falling within the competence of the European Union, and lobby activities. WUWM conferences are held twice a year at the locations provided by the member countries. There are 120-180 attendees at each usually 3-day event. In May 2015, Budapest hosted the annual congress of the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM). 250 participants from 35 countries around the world visited the capital of Hungary to be present at the grand event and to see the life of the Budapest Wholesale Market. The three-day event was opened by Manuel Estrada-Nora, the President of WUWM.

As one of the main results of the conference in Budapest, the FAO and WUWM signed a cooperation agreement and a work plan to increase food security in their markets and to continue to focus on reducing food waste.