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Measures for supporting wholesale food markets during COVID-19

Recent COVID-19 outbreaks in wholesale and retail food markets, slaughterhouses and meat processing plants throughout the world underscore the continued importance of rigorous application of COVID-19 health protocols to minimize disruptions to the food system. This brief is focused on wholesale food markets (WFMs) – common facilities that group multiple food businesses involved in the sale of foodstuffs to food business operators. It offers a set of considerations for ways in which local, provincial and national government can collaborate with WFM authorities and food system actors to protect merchants, workers and customers and to slow the spread of COVID-19. In the absence of an internationally recommended set of protocols, these considerations are based on practices used by WFMs to continue operations in compliance with government health protocols and virus containment measures. Measures taken will naturally differ by local context, location, type of market and its specific operations.