Centro Agroalimentare Roma

“Wholesale markets guaranteed a wide range of products despite the difficulties related to transportation and logistics.”

Italy

Producers, wholesalers and distributors of fresh farm products and fish were among those who continued to work following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Members of the Centro Agroalimentare Roma food consortium had to adjust their work methods to respect heightened rules for hygiene and safety—often at higher operating costs—while ensuring delivery of seasonal and regional products to markets in and around Rome.

“The pandemic generated an unimaginable economic and social crisis,” consortium members say. “In a short time we had to change our habits, even those which we had taken for granted, like shopping, going out for a pizza, or just going for a walk.”

Amid COVID-19 restrictions on movement and commerce, consumers increasingly relied on their neighborhood markets which, traditionally, had been the mainstay of food shopping for generations of Italians, before large, chain supermarkets became so widespread. 

 

“We witnessed an increase in the demand for fruit and vegetables. Those of us from the markets never stopped working, ensuring basic necessities such as fresh fruit and vegetables, legumes, fish, and services to those who stayed at home. We guaranteed the availability of wholesome, regional foods and transparency in pricing.”

Members of the consortium also partnered with local groups and services to help those lacked the resources to buy enough nutritious food. Promoting their efforts with the hashtag #TogetherWeWillDoThis, consortium members donated over 400 tons of fresh produce and fish to about 41 thousand families in March and April 2020 alone, delivering an estimated 2 million portions of food.

The food heroes of Centro Agroalimentare Roma, like food producers in many regions, have helped to renew a long tradition of buying fresh, buying local, and helping neighbors in need.

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