Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) have agreed to renew and strengthen their partnership with an eye to globally reducing food loss and waste and assure supplies of healthy and fresh food in an increasingly urbanized world.
The WUWM is a non-profit association representing more than 160 wholesale markets from every continent that seeks to ensure that wholesale and retail markets - especially for fresh produce - are recognized for their important role in local, national and international food distribution chains, food safety and the support of small businesses.
The new three-year pact which was signed on 17 October 2019, establishes a framework for supporting FAO's initiatives and programmes for food loss and waste reduction as well improving food markets and distribution systems.
Planned areas of collaboration between FAO and WUWM include knowledge sharing, advocacy and capacity development to reduce food loss and waste in food markets and in distribution systems.
The cooperation will contribute to FAO's development of a Code of Conduct regarding Food Loss and Waste - a subject central to this year's State of Food and Agriculture report. Food is lost after harvesting and before reaching the retail level, including through on-farm activities, storage and transportation while food waste occurs at the retail and consumption level and is linked to limited shelf life and consumer behaviour.
Reducing food losses along production and supply chains - as called for by Sustainable Development Goal 12.3.1 - offers a critical opportunity to increase the efficiency and sustainability of food systems to better deliver on nutrition and food security. The renewed partnership is strategic given that WUWM's members are typically central in delivering healthy foods to urban areas.