The UN Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Union of Wholesale Markets signed a partnership on 28 May to reduce food waste and acknowledge the growing challenge of feeding urban populations.
The partnership will focus on improving urban market systems and reducing the estimated 1.3bn tonnes of food wastage each year, with the UN to collaborate with wholesale traders to develop policies and skills to limit wastage.
“Significant effort has been put into cutting food waste at the household level, but not a lot of work has focused on supporting wholesalers who are an important part of the puzzle – this partnership aims to change that,” said Vladimir Rakhmanin, FAO regional representative for Central Asia and Eastern Europe, at the signing ceremony in Budapest, Hungary.
“If close to 90 per cent of the expected increase in the global urban population in the next two decades will take place in cities in Africa and Asia, it makes much sense to build solid knowledge on how to strengthen urban market systems,” said Eugenia Serova, head of FAO’s Agro-Industry Division.
An estimated 40 per cent of fruit and vegetable crops are wasted each year, with the losses more highly concentrated in cities.