In a press release issued today, the USDA, the EPA, and the FDA announced a new partnership with the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, which is reported to be the latest effort in the Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative launched by the three federal agencies in 2018.
Through this Memo of Understanding, USDA, EPA and the FDA will formalize industry education and outreach efforts with the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the Food Marketing Institute and the National Restaurant Association—the three founding partners of the Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA). The FWRA represents three major sectors of the supply chain: food manufacturing, retail, and restaurant and food service with the pursuit of three goals: reducing the amount of food waste generated; increasing the amount of safe, nutritious food donated to those in need; and diverting food waste from landfills.
“The FDA strongly supports our shared goal of reducing the amount of food that Americans waste through important efforts like today’s agreement,” says Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless, M.D. “The issues of food waste and food safety go hand in hand and we will continue to work with our federal partners and other stakeholders on enhancing our efforts to reduce food waste and do it safely. We are committed to doing all that we can to support safe and sound food policy decisions that are good for our families, good for our communities, and good for our planet.”
“USDA shares many common goals with the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, including our belief in the power of teamwork,” says U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “We are proud to join this public-private partnership to prompt action throughout the food system.”
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, adds, “EPA is proud to build upon the Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative through this partnership with leaders of the Food Waste Reduction Alliance. Reducing food loss and waste has many environmental and social benefits. By collaborating with these major segments of the food supply chain, we are making progress toward the national goal to reduce food loss and waste by 50 percent by 2030.”
Federal officials shared the news today at the 2019 Food Waste Summit, hosted by ReFED, a nonprofit that uses a data-driven approach to combat food loss and waste. At the event, federal officials also recognized the growing cadre of U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions, a group of corporations and organizations that have made a public commitment to reduce food loss and waste in their U.S. operations by 50 percent by the year 2030.
The press release also reveals that in the U.S., more than one-third of all available food goes uneaten through loss or waste and that food is the single largest type of waste in our daily trash.
The Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative is a collaborative effort among USDA, EPA and the FDA to reduce food loss and waste through combined and agency-specific action. Individually and collectively, these agencies contribute to the initiative, encourage long-term reductions, and work toward the goal of reducing food loss and waste in the United States. These actions include research, community investments, education and outreach, voluntary programs, public-private partnerships, tool development, technical assistance, event participation and policy discussion.