Products from the global South reaching the bistros of Autogrill

Partnership of FAO with the Italian multinational company takes off

5 April 2016, Rome - Bolivian quinoa, spices from Cambodia and cocoa from Ecuador are but a few of the products coming sourced from small farmers in the global South that will now be sold in the bistros of the Italian and French roadside eatery chain Autogrill, , thanks to a partnership with FAO.

The initiative was announced today by Autogrill Chief Executive Gianmario Tondato Da Ruos during a ceremony held in the presence of Andrea Olivero, the Italian Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.

"We are glad that, thanks to the partnership with FAO, we can help small farmers around the world gain access to new markets through our bistros. At the same time we are pleased to support the FAO campaign against food loss and waste and against world hunger at large" said Autogrill's CEO Todato Da Ruos.

"It's a pleasure to see FAO developing partnership initiatives with the Italian private sector in order to tackle huge challenges such hunger, poverty and the fight against food waste. The latter is a theme the Italian Government follows closely," said Olivero. "The cooperation with FAO that started off with Expo 2015 will continue on the new Sustainable Development Goals".

The partnership agreement with Autogrill is part of FAO's efforts to find new marketing opportunities as a way to support small farmers and cooperatives that have already been involved in FAO projects and that have already shown capacity to export to the European Union.

"Globally, small and family farmers produce most of the food we eat, while about 80 per cent of the people affected by hunger live in rural areas. They depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Facilitating access to new and viable markets has important effects on local economies and nutrition in the developing world," said Marcela Villarreal, Director of FAO's Office for Partnerships, Advocacy and Capacity Building. "We thank Autogrill for the opportunity it is giving to small farmers from the global South to commercialize their products in the company's bistros in Italy and abroad".

In 2015 Autogrill, a multinational company with motorway and airport restaurants in 30 countries, signed a Memorandum of Understanding  - part of the Save Food Global Initiative -pledging to cut food loss and waste in all of its 4,000  outlets around the world, while creating awareness on the issue among its customers through information material and a dedicated toolkit.

The agreement with Autogrill is an example of FAO's attention towards partnerships. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has now signed over 80 agreements with a wide range of different stakeholders, including the private sector, civil society, non-governmental organizations, cooperatives and academia.

Photo: ©FAO/FAO Latin America
Family farmers producing quinoa.