WUWM Newsletter
Autumn 2023

September 29, 2023

​In a foreword 

Dear WUWM Members and Readers,  

As Chairman of the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM), I am pleased to provide an update on our recent activities and exciting upcoming events. 

First and foremost, I am delighted to present you concrete success stories from WUWM Wholesale Markets in commemoration of The International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste (IDAFLW), as well as the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between FAO and WUWM.

As we approach the 29th of September, IDAFLW serves as a poignant reminder that despite progress, food wastage remains a critical issue: an estimated 13 percent of the world’s food is lost in the supply chain from post-harvest to the retail stage, with an additional 17 percent wasted in households, food services, and retail.

Within these technical pages, you will find a comprehensive showcase of 10 remarkable Food Donation initiatives undertaken by 10 WUWM markets. Each of these endeavors is driven by a diverse range of objectives, all with the common aim of creating positive impacts within their communities and the environment.

We are also excited to share the findings of the MIT research on Tackling Food Waste. This newsletter is the chosen platform to delve into this valuable research. Should you require further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to the WUWM secretariat.

As October draws near, so does our highly anticipated Conference, scheduled from the 25th to the 28th in Cancun, Mexico. Under the theme “The Future of Food Markets: Modernizing Wholesale and Retail Markets to Meet Customer Expectations by 2030,” this event is proudly hosted by our esteemed Mexican delegation and the Latin Regional Group, under the astute leadership of WUWM board member Mr. Arturo Salvador Fernández Martinez.

We earnestly look forward to welcoming you all in person to engage in meaningful discussions about the future of food markets and the various facets of modernization. Mark your calendars for the WUWM General Assembly on the 27th of October in Cancun.

To all our members, partners, and industry stakeholders, we extend an open invitation to join us in this collective endeavor!

Warmest regards,

Mr. Stéphane Layani 

Chairman, World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM)

Please find the english version of the spring newsletter in pdf here (available soon)

Please find the spanish version of the spring newsletter in pdf here (available soon)

Please find here the folder : European Wholesale Markets Leading the Way in Food Donation Initiatives

Read the summary of the MIT research here

FAO and WUWM Renew their Collaboration through Signature of a Further Memorandum of Understanding

FAO and WUWM Renew their Collaboration through Signature of a Further Memorandum of Understanding

On 16 August 2023, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) renewed their collaboration through the endorsement of a Memorandum of Understanding that covers a three-year period.

Within the framework of this partnership, work activities during year one will bring in a focus on promoting awareness and advocacy to reduce food loss and waste, beginning with the fourth observance of the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, on 29 September 2023.  Webinars will be jointly convened to promote knowledge sharing and exchange on food loss and waste issues pertinent to wholesale markets.  WUWM members will also be introduced to technical resources that are accessible through the Technical Platform on the Measurement and Reduction of Food Loss and Waste and will have the opportunity to join the Community of Practice on Food Loss and Waste.

Senior FAO officials are expected to contribute as high-level speakers to the 2023 International WUWM Cancun Conference.

Please find here the folder : European Wholesale Markets Leading the Way in Food Donation Initiatives

September 29, 2023

WUWM 2023 Conference in Cancun, Mexico: Modernizing Global Food Markets

In a monumental gathering, Wholesale Markets and Food actors representing over 80 countries will convene in the city of Cancun, Mexico, for the WUWM 2023 Conference. Set against the backdrop of the stunning MOON PALACE THE GRAND CANCUN Hotel, the event is organized jointly by the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) and the National Confederation of Groups of Market Traders (CONACCA).

Themed “The Future of Food Markets: Modernizing Wholesale and Retail Markets to Meet Customer Expectations by 2030,” the conference promises to be a pivotal moment for the global food procurement and fresh food community. From October 25th to 28th, delegates from diverse corners of the world will engage in discussions led by distinguished speakers, including QU Dongyu, Director-General of FAO, Mario Lubetkin, Deputy Director-General of FAO and Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean, and CEOs of wholesale markets spanning Mexico, Latin America, China, Korea, Thailand, India, and Europe.

The agenda of the WUWM 2023 Conference emphasizes the revitalization and modernization of both wholesale and retail food markets. The aim is to ensure that consumers not only have access to products of the highest quality, freshness, and affordability, but also experience them in  welcoming, functional, and hygienic environments.

Throughout the conference, a spectrum of initiatives and success stories will be scrutinized to instigate a transformative shift in markets, aimed at improving customer engagement, upgrading infrastructure, and amplifying the allure of product offerings. By laying the groundwork for the modernization of food markets, discussions will zero in on cultivating stronger customer relationships and tailoring modernization efforts to align with their evolving needs.

The journey includes a Technical Visit of the Cancun Wholesale Market, as well as Regional WUWM Group Meetings, the WUWM General Assembly 2023, and a Gala Closing Dinner.

The WUWM 2023 Conference in Cancun, Mexico, holds the promise of shaping the future of global food markets, setting a course toward more dynamic, customer-centric, and resilient marketplaces worldwide.



The International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste (IDAFLW) will be held the 29th of September 2023 at a time when the global economy faces tremendous strain from climate change, conflicts, slowdowns and downturns, and high food prices exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine. The 2023 report of the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World highlights that up to 783 million people cross the globe faced hunger in 2022, while more than 3.1 billion people were unable to afford a healthy diet in 2021.

Currently, many of the world’s agrifood systems are unsustainable, as they degrade agricultural land, contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, and loss of biodiversity and consume groundwater. Food systems are also vulnerable to external climate and other shocks, partly because of the impact on the environment.

Action is required to transform agrifood systems globally, to improve their resilience, efficiency, sustainability, and inclusiveness in ways that positively impact food security, enable healthy diets, and contribute to better nutritional outcomes. All this must be achieved, however, while balancing trade-offs to mitigate the effects upon our natural resource base (land, water, biodiversity) and climate.

Please find here the folder : European Wholesale Markets Leading the Way in Food Donation Initiatives

September 29, 2023

European Wholesale Markets Leading the Way in Food Donation Initiatives

This newsletter is dedicated to showcasing inspiring projects and initiatives in food donation across wholesale markets in Europe, with a special emphasis on Italy, Spain, Belgium, Greece, Poland, Portugal, and France.

Food donation is a vital component in the fight against food losses and wastage, as it can significantly contribute to the food security of the most vulnerable populations. By providing provisions to those in need, it plays a crucial role in promoting food security and reducing food insecurity.

In this monograph, we aim to showcase the remarkable efforts made by these markets, which have a myriad of objectives at heart, all aimed at positively impacting their communities and the environment. These projects have many interconnected objectives, addressing pressing challenges while fostering sustainable development and social responsibility. The primary goals of these initiatives include:

  •  Providing food for people in need and limiting food waste.
  • Promoting the professional reintegration of disadvantaged individuals.
  • Reducing the amount of food waste by recovering and redistributing it.
  • Finding innovative ways to process unsold food.
  • Ensuring that surplus food reaches those who require it most.

Moreover, these initiatives contribute to sustainable development by respecting ecological, economic, and social pillars. They play a vital role in combating poverty and social exclusion while promoting responsible consumption and production. Additionally, they strengthen community ties and foster social cohesion by bringing together diverse stakeholders in solidarity.

Throughout the article, you will have the opportunity to discover into the remarkable projects and initiatives in each of the countries mentioned above. We will delve into these projects’ methods, partnerships, and positive impacts. By showcasing the work of organizations tackling food waste and promoting sustainable development, we will highlight the vital role played by wholesale markets in contributing to a more sustainable and equitable food system.

The success of these initiatives is rooted in collaboration. We will emphasize the importance of partnerships between wholesale markets, charitable organizations, and other stakeholders. This united approach is essential in addressing food waste, supporting vulnerable populations, and fostering community social cohesion.

A comprehensive overview of the activities and processes involved in collecting, sorting, storing, and distributing food donations will be provided. We will explore the innovative use of technology and collaborative partnerships that have facilitated the donation process, making it more efficient and impactful.

Each article will provide valuable insights into the challenges faced, the collaborative efforts involved, and the positive outcomes achieved. These initiatives embody the spirit of cooperation and innovation defining the wholesale market community.

These stories will inspire and showcase the incredible work being done and serve as a guide for other markets and organizations wishing to join the movement for a more sustainable and socially responsible food system.

We hope you find this special edition inspiring and enlightening. Together, let us celebrate the dedication and ingenuity of European Wholesale Markets in their unwavering commitment to making the world a better place.

Click HERE

Key Figures IDAFLW

Globally, agrifood systems produce some 11 billion tons of food each year and form the backbone of many economies (FAO, 2021).

During the period 2010-2016, global FLW accounted for 8 to 10 percent of total anthropogenic GHG emissions (IPCC, 2019).

FAO’s estimates reported in 2022 set the Global Food Loss Percentage at 13.3 percent (FAO, 2022).

In 2019, global agrifood system emissions accounted for 31 percent of total anthropogenic emissions (FAOSTAT Emissions Shares Database, 2019).

Biodiversity loss continues to accelerate across the globe. Today, more than ever before in human history, around one million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction, many within decades (IPBES, 2019).

Fruits and vegetables account for approximately 32 percent of food losses, followed by meat and animal products that account for 12.4 percent of food losses (FAO, 2022).

Tackling Food Waste: MIT's Cutting-Edge Approach to Enhance Sustainability in Wholesale Markets

In a groundbreaking research initiative, MIT’s Mr. Furqan Khalil Syed, along with the guidance of Dr Chris Mejía and Prof. Sara Grobbelaar, has led an innovative project, by primarily partnering with WUWM’s markets network, focused on addressing food waste in wholesale markets through a system dynamics approach. The study, undertaken in collaboration with the WUWM, holds immense promise for creating more efficient and sustainable food supply chains.

Read the summary of the MIT research Here
Key upcoming events

September 29, 2023: The 4th International day of Awareness of food loss and waste (IDAFLW)

September 29, 2023: 50th birthday of MABRU, Brussels, Belgium

October 2-3, 2023: The Day of German Unity organzsed by GFI Markets, Hamburg, Germany

October 6, 2023: WUWM retail working group meeting, held in person and online in Rungis, France.

October 25-28, 2023: WUWM Conference in Cancun, Mexico. y

October 25, 2023: WUWM board Meeting in Cancun, Mexico.

October 26, 2023 : WUWM Conference

October 27, 2023: WUWM General Assembly 2023, held in person and online in Cancun.

October 27, 2023: WUWM Regional Meetings, held in person and online in Cancun.

November 27-28, 2023: The 29th Gourmand World Cookbook Awards ceremony, in Riyadh, Saudia Arabia

February 7-10, 2024: WUWM at Fruit Logistica Berlin, Germany.

May 15-18, 2024: WUWM Conference in Bangkok, Thailand.
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