05 May Food Waste Reduction Alliance Briefs U.S. House of Representatives Staffers
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Heather Garlich, 202-220-0616
Food Waste Reduction Alliance Briefs U.S. House of Representatives Staffers
MAY 5, 2016 – WASHINGTON, DC – Today, members of the Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA) – representing the nation’s grocers, food manufacturers and restaurants – briefed staff from the U.S. House of Representatives on the alliance’s mission and progress to mitigate food waste in the U.S.
In collaboration with food donation organizations, NGOs, waste experts, and a host of other partners along the supply chain, FWRA produces workable resources, such as best practices in reducing food waste, that offer reality-based applications and guidance to the various aspects of our food production system.
Laura Abshire, director, sustainability policy, National Restaurant Association; Andrew Harig, senior director, sustainability, tax and trade, Food Marketing Institute; and Meghan Stasz, senior director, sustainability, Grocery Manufacturers Association, represented industry groups at the staff briefing and co-presented with executives from their member companies to raise awareness of how companies are already successfully implementing food waste reduction strategies and what challenges remain in the supply chain that Congress can help provide relief.
Abshire stressed, “The Food Waste Reduction Alliance maintains three goals: 1. Reduce food lost within our operations, so it never becomes waste; 2. Recover safe and nutritious food that might have been wasted by sending it to those in need; and 3. Recycle unavoidable food waste by diverting it away from landfills to more productive uses, including animal feed, compost or food to energy.”
Harig further explained the challenge of food waste and how each industry must leverage unique remedies and solutions, saying, “We appreciate the House Agriculture Committee staff for their interest in the ways our respective industries can come together to mitigate our weaknesses and enhance our collective strengths with a unified goal of feeding more people, sharing best practices and creating awareness among our businesses to anticipate cost effective solutions.”
Stasz concluded, “Food waste can happen anywhere along the supply chain, from the farm to the manufacturer to the retailer or restaurant, and in our homes or at work – it’s estimated that 25-40 percent of the food that is grown, processed and transported in the United States will never be consumed – so the opportunity and the need to reduce food waste have never been greater.”
Industry groups were joined by Michael Hewett, director of environmental and sustainability programs, Publix Super Markets, Inc.; Jessica Rosen, associate manager, sustainability, Yum! Brands; and Kent Wilson, Washington representative, General Mills, Inc.
About Food Marketing Institute
Food Marketing Institute proudly advocates on behalf of the food retail industry. FMI’s U.S. members operate nearly 40,000 retail food stores and 25,000 pharmacies, representing a combined annual sales volume of almost $770 billion. Through programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations, FMI offers resources and provides valuable benefits to more than 1,225 food retail and wholesale member companies in the United States and around the world. FMI membership covers the spectrum of diverse venues where food is sold, including single owner grocery stores, large multi-store supermarket chains and mixed retail stores. For more information, visit www.fmi.org and for information regarding the FMI foundation, visit www.fmifoundation.org.
About Grocery Manufacturers Association
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is the trade organization representing the world’s leading food, beverage and consumer products companies and associated partners. The U.S. food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry has facilities in 30,000 communities, generates $1 trillion in sales annually, contributes $415 billion in added value to the economy every year and is the single largest U.S. manufacturing industry with 1.7 million manufacturing workers. Founded in 1908, GMA has a primary focus on product safety, science-based public policies and industry initiatives that seek to empower people with the tools and information they need to make informed choices and lead healthier lives.
About National Restaurant Association
Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises more than 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 14.4 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We operate the industry’s largest trade show (NRA Show May 21-24, 2016, in Chicago); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF’s ProStart); as well as the Kids LiveWell program promoting healthful kids’ menu options. For more information, visit Restaurant.org and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.