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Building sustainable and resilient food systems: Market Systems at the Centre of Urban-Rural Linkages

Eugenia Carrara


date June 30, 2022 | 15:00 - 16:30
Multifunction Hall Room 16
World Union of Wholesale Markets
Building Resilience for Sustainable Urban Futures
NE 196


This jointly organized networking event on markets and food systems builds on lessons from the impacts of COVID-19 and outgoing crisis ( armed conflicts, climate change) affecting the food supply chain on all types of food markets and the global recognition that food systems must be transformed as part of the transformation of cities to be more resilient, sustainable and inclusive. Fresh food markets have been central to human settlements for thousands of years. Food markets are the engines of local economies and among the original public spaces for the growth and renewal of democracy. Markets are the spatial and functional intersection of rural and urban communities, of farmers and consumers, of nature and culture. Territorial markets are essential for the food security of towns and cities and provide smallholders and especially women, young entrepreneurs and Indigenous Peoples with market access. Functional territories depend on functional markets. All the flows of people, good, services, information and capital that define urban-rural linkages flow through the markets systems of all societies. In the modern history of urbanization, market systems have evolved in diverse and complex ways to include informal, retail and wholesale private and public markets, and with teleconnections made possible by the internet, food market systems are both physical and virtual, both rooted in places and transcending location. In the last two years food supply chains have been in a state of crisis. In 2020 markets came to the center of global attention with the arrival and rapid spread of the Coronavirus pandemic or COVID-19. From the question of the pandemic’s origin in a public market to the centrality of food workers, to the ways markets safely provision communities during phases from initial surges to recovery and adaptation, markets are central. The essential character of food producers and workers in markets to provide healthy food and social protection during the protracted, still ongoing, global pandemic was a subject of multiple events in 2020 and 2021. The lessons for food markets from early stages of the pandemic continue to be important in 2022. Co-organizers will co-host a networking event on market systems at the centre of urban-rural flows of goods, services, people, information, and capital. The purpose of the event is to showcase and exchange information the ways in which policy and practices can be adapted to strengthen the resilience and sustainability of territorial food systems. Building on recent events including food system dialogues, working groups and coalitions from the UN Food Systems Summit and events during COP26 focused on the food-climate-cities nexus, this event will showcase market actors who are the innovators and pioneers in evolving market systems. Co-organizers of the virtual event are the World Union of Wholesale Markets, the World Farmers Markets Coalition, the Market Cities Initiative, with the support of UN-Habi


The primary objective for the networking event is to bring together communities of practice related to market systems that need to collaborate more closely in transformation of food systems as part of sustainable urban transformation. The second objective is to a present a set of principles and actions to be debated among market associations and key partners in subnational government associations and UN Agencies. A third objective is to have an outcome report to inform an issue brief that may have influence in policy and program implementation spaces at national, subnational and local levels.

Session speakers

Eugenia Carrara
Secretary General
Cecilia Marocchino
Urban Food Agenda Coordinator
Richard McCarthy
Interim president
World Farmer Coalition
Firadous Oussidhoum
Advisor to the SG
United Cities and Local Governments
Kristie Daniel
Program Director
Health bridge foundation