Press Release

FAO, in collaboration with partners, facilitates learning initiative between Amman & Milano Municipalities to address food loss and waste

21 May 2024

The collaboration seeks to harness the collective expertise and experiences of Amman and Milan in addressing food loss and waste, as key entry point for promoting sustainable transformation of urban agrifood systems.

Amman Municipality and Milan Municipality, have joined forces in a pioneering collaboration aimed at tackling food loss and waste management, marking a significant stride towards sustainable urban development.

With urbanization rates on the rise globally, the challenge of sustainable urban food systems has never been more pressing. Recognizing the urgency of this issue, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in collaboration with Let's Food and the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, is facilitating a peer-to-peer learning initiative between these two municipalities.

The collaboration seeks to harness the collective expertise and experiences of Amman and Milan in addressing food loss and waste, as key entry point for promoting sustainable transformation of urban agrifood systems.

The kickstart is a hybrid meeting – scheduled on 20 May 2024 - aimed at engaging stakeholders, pinpointing needs and priorities, and outlining a one-year roadmap for effective peer-to-peer learning between the two municipalities.

As stated by Corinna Hawkes - Director of the Agrifood Systems and Food Safety Division in FAO - Local governments are crucial contributors because they are the level of government closest to the people and they can address many food systems challenges at the city level and beyond.

After this initial exchange, further virtual interactions will take place, culminating in a workshop scheduled for November 2024 in Amman. This workshop will see the participation of cities across Europe and the Near East and North Africa Region, enhancing collaborative efforts and knowledge exchange.

The exchange between Amman and Milan represents more than just a one-time collaboration between the two cities; it embodies a commitment to driving systemic change in urban agrifood systems. It is fundamental – Hawkes added - that these peer exchanges are integrated with other learning modalities, such as the learning-by-doing approach and by concrete actions to achieve effective structural changes in food systems at all levels.

FAO Representative in Jordan, Eng. Nabil Assaf emphasized the transformative potential of such partnerships, stating, "The exchange between Amman Municipality and Milan Municipality holds the promise of catalyzing connections among existing initiatives at all levels, inspiring policymakers, other cities in Jordan, resource partners, the private sector, and eventually unlocking resources to achieve real changes in Amman and beyond.”

“FAO’s work on South-South and Triangular Cooperation and its support to countries in taking action to reduce food loss and waste, is therefore critical in this endeavor. Thanks to South-South and Triangular cooperation, cities have been able to share their experiences and learn from each other and strengthen food systems at sub-national and municipality levels.” said Mr. Anping Ye, Director of the South-South and Triangular Cooperation Division of FAO.

The Deputy Chief of the Italian Embassy, Emilio Fralleone, highlighted that "Paramount importance lies in food waste management, reducing food loss and strengthening food chains, for all these phenomena are intertwined and the way we decide to tackle them will contribute to shape the world of tomorrow. We recognize in this scenario the pivotal role played by Municipalities, especially given the growth of urban populations, in achieving these objectives. Amman and Milan stand at the forefront of research and development in this field within their respective Countries. Through peer-to-peer collaboration and experience sharing there will surely be a further enhancing of knowledges, nurturing growth, and progress.”

The Mayor of Milan, Mr. Giuseppe Sala, stated, “There is a great scope to reinforce food systems at national and international levels by building on the experience of cities”. He added, “Tackling Food waste is one of the main drivers of food systems transformation.”

The Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture in Jordan, Eng. Mohammad AlHayari, indicated that this initiative in peer learning comes to produce a new pioneering model for cities around the world, based on the specific challenges facing Jordan and relying on the responsible human element that can be creative and turn challenges into opportunities.

On behalf of the Mayor of Amman, the city director, Eng. Ahmed Al-Malkawi, said that this workshop between Amman and the municipality of Milan in the field of organic waste management of vegetables and fruits would enhance cooperation, exchange experiences, and explore solutions that achieve common goals for developing organic waste management, trusting that the workshop would be a platform for exchanging ideas and experiences that support sustainable growth in the field of organic waste management from vegetables and fruits, which is considered one of the challenges that requires sustainable solutions to reduce negative impacts on the environment and public health.

This collaborative initiative builds upon FAO's Priority Programme "Achieving Sustainable Urban Food Systems," and recognizes food loss and waste management as powerful entry point to catalyze systemic transformation in urban and peri-urban areas.

Dima Al Khayyat

Dima Al Khayyat

Communications Officer

UN entities involved in this initiative

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Goals we are supporting through this initiative