FAO partners with World Union of Wholesale Markets
Developing "best practices" for reducing food waste will be included in the partnership, which the FAO said was a recognition of the growing challenge of feeding the world's cities and the importance of efficient urban markets.
While significant volumes of food are handled in wholesale markets – particularly in developing countries – information gaps do exist about food waste in the marketing process, including storage and transportation, and wholesale markets are focusing on new efforts to address the issue, the FAO said.
Key goals of the partnership are gathering more detailed information on how much food is lost and wasted at the wholesale level, developing sound procedures to improve logistic efficiencies in urban markets and with suppliers and buyers while preventing and managing waste across the sector.
Losses increasingly concentrated in cities
Roughly one third of the food produced globally for human consumption – approximately 1.3 billion metric tons (MT) every year — is estimated to be lost or wasted. The losses are increasingly concentrated in cities, where two-thirds of the world's population are expected to live by 2050.
The FAO estimates that over 40% of root crops, fruits and vegetables are lost wasted, along with 35% of fish, 30% of cereals and 20% of oilseeds, meat and dairy products.
Calculated from farmgate and retail prices, the organization says total food waste represents an economic value of some US$1 trillion annually.
By developing best practices for designs and operations of wholesale markets and a more efficient flow of information along the urban food supply chains, the new collaboration aims not only to cut down on food losses and waste but also to enhance producers' access to markets, improve food handling, and make fresher, safer produce more equally available to city consumers.
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