The WUWM (World Union of Wholesale Markets) has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) to foster accessibility to safe, healthy diets for those with low-incomes in Africa and Asia through the development of fresh food markets. This MoU is committed to the realisation of enhanced, resilient access to safe, healthy foods for all, and particularly for those in great need in low-middle-income countries in Africa and Asia through the development of fresh food markets.
Working together, the WUWM and GAIN aim to provide technical support to fresh food markets and will advocate together, regionally and globally, for sustainable food systems, nutrition public policies, fresh food markets related infrastructure development and co-designed market operations.
Fresh food markets are at the core of the transition towards resilient, sustainable food systems. Several studies (FAO, UNHABITAT, EAT) show that territorial fresh food markets have an crucial and positive influence on enhancing availability and access to fresh fruits and vegetables, at affordable prices, to vulnerable communities e.g. those living on low-incomes in cities and/or working in the informal sector.
According to a statement by the WUWM: “2022 will have to mark a decisive action year for scaling up and accelerating the implementation of robust, context specific efforts to eradicate hunger ( SDG2) and increase accessibility of safe, nutritious foods for all people, whilst remaining within key Earth’s systems thresholds like climate change and biodiversity loss.
“In a world where billions of people still have difficulties accessing safe, fresh and healthy food and where the challenge of food waste is both a people and planet dilemma, the structuration, flow of operations and modernisation of the fresh food value chain will be a game changer to reduce hunger and malnutrition around the world.”
This collaboration, between WUWM and GAIN, strives to promote and facilitate technical assistance, skills, knowledge transfer and capacity building to a variety of food systems stakeholders, in cities and across the urban-rural continuum, in Africa and Asia. It provides the basis to develop efficient fresh food markets that ensure accessibility to fresh produce to the poorest, food safety, better and sustainable value chains and decent conditions for farmers and vendors.
This will be realised through GAIN’s on-going Resilient Markets programmes and by WUWM leveraging its membership across the world. Advocacy will focus on the value of effective, efficient, robustly operated, networked and sustainable fresh food markets with skilled vendors and champions. Key areas of WUWM support include, market infrastructure design and construction, operations management, internal and public sector related governance, innovation and further business capacitation of vendors as well as knowledge and skills transfer to local providers and “champions”.