The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and non-profit association the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) are to strengthen their partnership with a new three-year pact.
The agreement, which was signed on 17 October 2019, aims to reduce global food loss and waste and assure supplies of healthy and fresh food in an increasingly urbanised world, through knowledge sharing, advocacy and capacity development.
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.
“We are both committed to working together to find innovative and efficient ways to overcome the enormous challenge that we will have to face in the agri-food sector if we want to be able to feed in a sustainable way human populations in the forthcoming decades,” said Stéphane Layan, vice-chairman of WUWM, which represents more than 160 wholesale markets from every continent.
“Wholesale markets are critical for producers and consumers… they are the last phase in the chain of activities where food losses could occur so they are central in reducing them,” added Máximo Torero Cullen, FAO assistant director-general, Economic And Social Development department. “So we need to find ways to work together.”
Reducing food losses along production and supply chains – as called for by the FAO’s 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.
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