Mercamadrid Madrid wholesale market

Global wholesale markets have named food waste as a challenge for the future

Global wholesale markets will be supported to adopt better food waste strategies under a new partnership between the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM).

The new partnership, announced today (28 May) at WUWM’s conference in Budapest, will collect information about food waste on wholesale markets, and help traders and landlords to improve logistics, market designs and operations.

Its wider aim is to increase communication about food waste along urban food supply chains in order to cut down on food waste, improve producers' access to markets, and improve food handling.

“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.

WUWM said that, while significant volumes of food are handled in wholesale markets, there are “information gaps” about food waste in the marketing process, including at storage and transportation stages.

WUWM director, Donald Darnall, said: “Some 60 percent of wholesale markets we’ve surveyed said managing food waste was their number-one challenge for the next five years.

“Our markets are embracing 'good practices' to reduce waste and we see this as an opportunity to develop improved waste management strategies and share solutions.”

An official partnership agreement signing ceremony is set to take place later today in Budapest.