Food’s route to our tables goes through many middlemen who facilitate the logistics of efficient distribution with minimum waste and expense. Whether capitalism is contributing to global hunger or, in the alternative, food security depends significantly on the role of wholesalers:
“Wholesalers function as brokers who sell agricultural goods purchased directly from producers in bulk to businesses and resellers. While significant volumes of food are handled in wholesale markets – particularly in developing countries – information gaps do exist about food waste in the marketing process, including storage and transportation, and wholesale markets are focusing on new efforts to address the issue. Gathering more detailed information on how much food is lost and wasted at the wholesale level, developing sound procedures to improve logistic efficiencies in urban markets and with suppliers and buyers while preventing and managing waste across the sector are key goals of the partnership.” (Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN Media Release Linked Below).
The United Nations’ strategy of cooperation with profit motivated channels of commerce may be viewed as a key decision that may enhance food security or worsen hunger. Hunger has seen a slight dip along with a stabilization in food prices since several years of unhinged speculation and escalation in food prices that was dominant until the beginning of 2014. (Read: “Food Prices Drop – Good News on Hunger or Danger of Deflation.”) However, the longer term trends as well as success of containing food costs and thus hunger remain as yet illusive.
“Recognizing the growing challenge of feeding the world’s cities and the importance of efficient urban markets, FAO and the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) are partnering to promote sustainability and inclusiveness in the wholesale sector, including developing “best practices” for reducing food waste.” (Read more at FAO: “Boosting Food Security in Cities, through Better Markets, Reduced Food Waste.”)