WUWM Newsletter
Winter 2022 - 2023

March 1, 2023

​In a foreword 

Dear readers,

To achieve the transition of our food systems, it is time to work on restructuring our wholesale markets towards models that can cope with the climate change without participating in it, promote healthy and sustainable diets while ensuring food security for every citizen in times of instability, and move towards resilient and remunerative supply chains for all actors.

In this edition of ‘In action’, we will therefore propose different ideas to improve your wholesale market, based on scientific reports, international conferences and of course by you, our members, who are constantly inventing the future of wholesale markets. Regarding adaptation to climate change, in the article “What does the last report of the IPCC tells us about the future of food systems”, we will present you the main IPCC projections on the impacts of climate change on global food supply chains. We have a major role to play in adapting food systems to ensure food security around the world.

Highlighting the positive actions of our members regarding the Sustainable Development Goals to inspire other members is one of the priorities of the WUWM as we are convinced that exchanges and good practices can be of great help to the transition of our sector. This month we interview the CEO of the Melbourne Wholesale Market, which has set itself the target of recycling 95% of the waste produced at the market. He will tell us what led the market to take this step, the challenges they have faced in reaching this target and the market’s future goals. 

The World Economic Forum conference in Davos and the Dakar summit “Feed Africa: Food Sovereignty and Resilience” are two major international events for discussions on global food systems. Discussions on the transition of food supply chains towards greater sustainability and positive impacts for people, the environment and the climate were addressed. 

WUWM remains fully committed to promoting change among our members, as achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will ensure a better future.

Yours sincerely, 

Stéphane Layani, 

WUWM chairman 

In good practices: Get to know the ambitious recycling plan of Melbourne Wholesale Market in order to promote circular economy

Melbourne Market

Melbourne Market is one of six central fresh produce markets in Australia and specialises in Victorian fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. The market covers 67 hectares in Epping and is home to 2,750 businesses. The market is also a huge storage area with 120,000 square metres dedicated to storage. Victoria produces around 40% of the Australian cut flower market, so the flower market is an important trading venue for fresh flower growers. In order to promote good environmental practice and operate in the circular economy, the market has sought to maximise its waste recycling rate: the aim is to recycle 95% of its waste. We will present here the main methods implemented by this market to achieve this objective. 

A polluter-pays system is in place to make recycling and waste management fairer for all: the companies that pollute the least will pay the least and vice versa. First of all, in order to guarantee the recycling of cardboard, paper, polystyrene and plastic, the operation is free for companies, with the wholesale market providing this operation via a service provider. As the wholesale market is specialised in fruit, vegetables and flowers, a significant amount of organic waste is produced on the market. To encourage businesses to produce less than 100kg, the first 100kg brought in is free of charge, but each additional kilogram of clean, uncontaminated organic waste is charged to the business. Contaminated organic waste is charged from the first kilogram to encourage companies to produce as little as possible. 

Read the full interview of Mark Maskiell CEO of Melbourne Wholesale Market

In the loop: Innovations and technology in wholesale markets; the case for Big Data 

Ongoing geo-political conflict, two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, and widespread challenges stemming from climate change are at the heart of extensive disruptions to global food supply chains. Moreover, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has triggered a significant increase in food prices which combined with rising energy prices have worsened inflation and amplified the pressure on national public spending, already strained by the pandemic. In light of the above, building resilient supply chains today means building them differently, not only due to global or regional emergencies but also a few critical, lower-profile pressures that may prove to be even more transformative. Therefore, in the following paragraphs we will highlight examples of innovation and employ of technology in wholesale markets with the aim of sharing best practices and fostering an exchange of know-how; we will then argue for the potential uses of Big Data.

Read the full article here 

Interview: Mauro Colagreco, an Argentinian chef committed to biodiversity 

Mauro Colagreco, an Argentinian chef committed to biodiversity 

Each month, we try to introduce you to food actors who are involved in the evolution of our sector. Chefs have a huge role to play, proposing new recipes, promoting and keeping alive craftsmen and culinary traditions while bringing them up to date. Mauro Colagreco is one such innovative chef, constantly seeking a better way to live on this planet while enjoying local agricultural products. Appointed Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity on Friday 25 November 2022, this is the first time in UNESCO’s history that a chef has been entrusted with this mission. In this interview, we reveal the actions that a star chef can implement in his restaurant to promote more sustainable food systems.

Read the full interview of Mauro Colagreco

The second Dakar submit “Feed Africa: Food Sovereignty and Resilience” took place from the 25 to the 27 of January, discover the main outcomes

In the present time, food and nutritional sovereignty should be the core of our new liberation from food dependency on fluctuating markets and grain prices. 
Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission

In focus: What does the last IPCC report tells us about the future of food systems?

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

A year ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published the second part of its report on the impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability of human societies to climate change. The IPCC was established in 1988 under the auspices of the United Nations and now includes experts from 195 countries around the world. Scientists from many disciplines focus on specific topics and summarize all the latest scientific publications on the subject. Thus, the report is a compendium of the latest scientific findings on the effects of climate change. The 5th chapter of the second part of the report contains predictions on climate change and its effects on the benefits we receive from nature for food, medicine, and clothing. In this article, we will explore the impacts of climate change, as well as adaptation and vulnerability of global food systems, and share the key insights.

Read here the full article

In facts: 


Future projections indicate that nearly 670 million people (8% of the world's population) will still face hunger in 2030, moving the world further away from achieving SDG 2 to eradicate hunger (FAO). 

20 000 000

In Lagos, Nigeria, the population raised from 200,000 inhabitants in 1960 to 20,000,000 in 2020, leading to major issues concerning the supply of fresh food for inhabitants.  

The consumption of animal products, fruit and vegetables is highly sensitive to income. With rising incomes, urban residents eat more animal-source foods and processed foods, which may be low in micronutrients, high in calories and fat. 


Food purchased in markets represents more than 80% of food consumption in sub-Saharan African cities, compared with 50% in rural areas. 

32 000

A pilot project in Bahia, Brazil targeting 32,000 students by providing nutritious plant-rich school menus from local smallholder farmers succeeded to reduce by 17% greenhouse gas emissions for secondary education and 15% for nursery in 2019. 


The city of Liège, Belgium, wants to go 100% local organic in canteens by 2024 by a systemic farm-to-fork strategy. 


In Latin America, between 2000 and 2013, the consumption of ultra-processed foods increased by more than 25%, and fast-food consumption by almost 40% (PAHO, 2015). 


Latin America is facing escalating obesity rates, affecting 24% of the regional – mostly urban – population, almost double the global level of 13.2%, which is explained by unhealthy diets and poverty (FAO). 

March 1, 2023

Insightful: Found out the last news about the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos

From 16 to 20 January 2023 the Davos Forum took place under the theme “Cooperation in a Fragmented World”. The annual meeting brought together more than 2,700 leaders from government, business and civil society at a pivotal moment for the world. Multiple crises are deepening divisions and fragmenting the geopolitical landscape. Leaders must address the immediate and critical needs of people while laying the foundation for a more sustainable and resilient world by the end of the decade. For a more sustainable world, transitioning food systems is key, including reforms in agricultural practices.

The impact of agriculture on environmental degradation is very significant, Hubert Keller, Senior Managing Partner of Lombard Odier, painted a bleak picture of the sector’s impact on environmental stability: “But while energy is essential, there is no sector more important to our overall environmental stability than agriculture, forestry and other land uses (AFAT). It is the main culprit in overshooting our global limits, accounting for 90% of global deforestation, 70% of endangered species, 65% of agrochemical pollution, and the use of 70% of the world’s freshwater reserves.

Smallholder farmers feed 80% of Asia and Africa, or one third of the world’s population, while these smallholder farming communities are significantly more vulnerable to climate change, as of early 2022. In addition, farmers around the world face a common problem: the soaring cost of fertiliser. As Russia, Belarus and Ukraine are all major exporters of the raw materials needed to produce fertiliser, Alzbeta Klein, CEO of the International Fertiliser Association, recalled: “The war in Ukraine is creating supply chain problems due to prices. We don’t have enough. We need to make sure that farmers can produce at an affordable price and connect to the global market.”

There is also the opportunity of subsidies. Currently, the agricultural sector receives between $500 billion and $700 billion in subsidies globally. Some of these are not aligned with climate goals. They need to be redeployed to meet governments’ climate and biodiversity goals, and to reduce the public health costs of poor nutrition. Population growth will mean feeding 25% more people with 20% less land. We will have to reorient a $10 trillion industry. This is not only possible, but represents a tremendous opportunity.

At WUWM, we are working every day to transition agricultural systems to be more sustainable, more inclusive, and global food systems to focus on low-carbon, healthy food.

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