- The Food Waste Reduction Alliance, a joint venture of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Food Marketing Institute, and National Restaurant Association, came out with a food waste guide for the industry.
- It highlights a number of case studies, including Campbell Soup's partnership with the Food Bank of South Jersey and the NJ agricultural community, in addition to ConAgra Foods making blended flavors instead of wasting product on the manufacturing line, then donating it. "Wasted food is the antithesis of the Triple Bottom Line," according to ConAgra's Gail Tavill, the company's vice president of sustainable development.
- "Approximately 80 billion pounds of food waste is discarded in U.S. landfills each year and the issue is now getting national attention following the announcement of USDA and EPA's first-ever national food waste reduction goals in September," said Patti Olenick, sustainability manager for Weis Markets, Inc.
About 31% — or 133 billion pounds — of the food supply goes to waste, according to the USDA. Along with the EPA, the entities set the country's first ever food waste goal in September, a 50% reduction by 2030.
The topic came up during panels at the Atlantic's Food Summit last week in Washington, DC, posed by representatives from these organizations.
The FWRA's goals include:
- Reduce the amount of food waste generated
- Increase the amount of safe, nutritious food donated
- Recycle unavoidable food waste, diverting it from landfills
According to a survey, 63% of food manufacters have transportation constraint barriers that prevent them from donating more food. Regarding supply chain challenges like this, the report says, "This is another instance where partnering with an expert solutions provider can overcome challenges, often in creative ways."
Food manufacturers, however, recycle 93.4% of waste, like fruit and vegetable trimmings and peels. Animal feed makes up 86.8% of food manufacturing waste.
"Especially in the manufacturing side, we're working at such scale that we have a tremendous opportunity to make a difference, and we do a very good job at feeding people all around the world, and so by continuing to listen to our consumers, to listen to our NGO partners, to listen to each other, to understand what consumers want and what the changing dynamic of our landscape is ... we can really understand how to make a tremendous difference," Meghan Stasz, senior director of sustainability at the Grocery Manufacturers Association, told Food Dive in January.