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“FOOD WASTE MANAGEMENT AND CIRCULAR ECONOMY IN MEDITERRANEAN CITIES”

Press release…

WUWM PARTICIPATED IN THE WEBINAR “FOOD WASTE MANAGEMENT AND CIRCULAR ECONOMY IN MEDITERRANEAN CITIES”  we are pleased to share the outcomes of the webinar with all our members and readers…
On the 25th of May, World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) had the pleasure to take part in the high-level webinar under the title “Food Waste Management and Circular Economy in Mediterranean Cities”. As one of the main goals of our organization is to foster circular economy strategies in the food sector to reduce the amount of waste we are pleased to share the outcomes of the webinar with our members and readers. Hoping that this information will give you good insights and inspiration that you could apply in your market!  

The Webinar was jointly organized by the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfMS), and the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA) within the framework of the SFS-MED Platform, a multi-stakeholder initiative for Sustainable Food Systems in the Mediterranean. 

The objective of the webinar was to accelerate the transition of the Mediterranean region towards a circular economy and to reduce food losses. 

You will find the full link to the publication here: 
https://www.fao.org/documents/card/en/c/cc1926en

WUWM shared how involving other stakeholders was paramount to developing and implementing effective policies and actions related to food waste management.  

It was highlighted in the panel discussion that challenges such as food waste management must be addressed on the local level. One of the main challenges to succeed is to be able to engage multiple stakeholders to achieve long-term positive results, breaking down silos and adopting a systemic approach. As such, we pointed out that the fresh food sector actors can play a significant role in reducing food waste, as fresh food products are among the most wasted due to their perishability.

Thus, at the Mediterranean level, WUWM fosters partnerships with a variety of stakeholders, including the European Commission, Eurocities, MUFPP, UN-Habitat, FAO, and other entities to strengthen energies and help find innovative solutions to common problems. At the local level markets develop networks and partnerships with Municipalities, NGOs, and traducers, mobilizing both local, national and regional funds to support the implementation of these projects. 

The final outcomes can be defined below: 

Food waste management and circular economy are major levers for sustainable food systems: by adopting a circular economy approach to food waste, we can recognize and preserve food products, nutrients, and resources for as long as possible, reduce resource use and recycle by-products and food waste.  

In the Mediterranean region, over 70 %  of the population lives in urban areas. Urbanization trends across the Mediterranean have a major role in shaping food demand and consumption; in this context, cities can act as hubs of innovation and connectivity transforming food by-products into more valuable materials.

Food waste management and circularity are key entry points for local governments to integrate food systems into local plans and actions.  

Fostering multi-stakeholder approaches are paramount to synergizing and establishing a collaborative ecosystem among a multiplicity of local stakeholders. To achieve a transition from a “take-make-waste” to a circular economy, governments, civil society, research centers, the private sector, international organizations, and investors must collaborate effectively. 

Sharing of information, knowledge, and education at the local level facilitates training, raises awareness, and changes local stakeholders’ perspectives.  Infrastructure investments and waste upcycling should be leveraged, along with valuing traditional preservation methods.   

Our members are positioned as champions for sharing and disseminating good practices, and we want to encourage them to go on sharing their expertise, innovative ideas, and services, as well as working as federations to connect all the fresh food actors. We look forwards to collaborating with other actors in the Mediterranean cities to foster circular economy strategies and work towards achieving SDG 12.3 (by 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses). 

Thank you for your collaboration. 
  
Eugenia Carrara 

WUWM Secretary General

About İsmail Uğural

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