New Best Practices Guide Highlights Ways the Food Industry Reduces Food Waste

Cross-industry Food Waste Reduction Alliance guide provides practical tips and case studies

(Washington, D.C. / November 3, 2015) The Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA) today released an updated guide with practical steps and examples to help food manufacturers, food retailers and restaurants cut food waste.

 The second annual Best Practices and Emerging Solutions guide highlights ways companies can begin or expand their food donation or food waste diversion programs. Compiled by FWRA, a cross-sector industry initiative led by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the National Restaurant Association (NRA), the guide focuses on strategies food manufacturers, retailers and restaurant and foodservice operators can employ to keep food out of landfills, and to reduce food waste at the source.

 “The real value this project offers is the perspective of industry – compiled by companies for companies,” noted Christy Cook, Director Sustainability Performance and Field Support, for Sodexo, whose efforts in food waste reduction are highlighted in this year’s guide. “It shares industry successes and suggestions around how to overcome potential food donation obstacles such as liability issues, transportation constraints and insufficient storage and refrigeration at food banks. It also highlights ways to recycle food waste such as recovering energy from food waste materials and redirection of organic materials,” she added.

The guide is filled with case studies, model practices and emerging solutions compiled across hunger relief and waste management sectors and includes more than 30 member companies throughout the food chain. Some examples of these success stories include: 

  • The Campbell Soup Company’s partnership with the Food Bank of South Jersey and the NJ agricultural community in which undersized peaches headed for landfill were given new life as shelf-stable peach salsa.  Just Peachy is sold at retail with proceeds benefitting the Food Bank of South Jersey.
  • ConAgra Foods, Inc.’s strategy to change the way they transition from one pudding flavor to another in a manufacturing facility by creating blended flavors rather than waste product while flushing the manufacturing line from one flavor to another. The mixed-flavor pudding is now donated, reducing manufacturing loss and getting food to those in need.
  • Dramatic reductions in food waste seen by food service operators such as Aramark Corporation and Sodexo just by getting rid of trays in dining halls and cafeterias.
  • Darden Restaurants’ and Yum! Brands’ partnership with the Food Donation Connection to establish the Darden Harvest and Yum! Harvest programs which coordinate food donations to food banks and other charitable organizations as an alternative to discarding prepared foods.
  • Supermarkets such as Hannaford Supermarkets and Weis Markets, Inc. are making strides in improvements to their food donation programs, enabling them to share best practices helping others to do the same.

“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. “In order to achieve a 50-percent reduction by 2030, corporations everywhere will be looking to do their part. This guide should be the first step they take.”

To access the 2015 Best Practices Guide, click here.

To arrange an interview with one of the participating companies or organizations, please contact Maggie McClain at +1-202-295-3937 or mmcclain@gmaonline.org.

For more information on the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, click here.

 

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 About the 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 the Grocery Manufacturers Association

Based in Washington, D.C., the Grocery Manufacturers Association is the voice of more than 300 leading food, beverage and consumer product companies that sustain and enhance the quality of life for hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe.

Founded in 1908, GMA is an active, vocal advocate for its member companies and a trusted source of information about the industry and the products consumers rely on and enjoy every day. The association and its member companies are committed to meeting the needs of consumers through product innovation, responsible business practices and effective public policy solutions developed through a genuine partnership with policymakers and other stakeholders.

 In keeping with its founding principles, GMA helps its members produce safe products through a strong and ongoing commitment to scientific research, testing and evaluation and to providing consumers with the products, tools and information they need to achieve a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. The food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry in the United States generates sales of $2.1 trillion annually, employs 14 million workers and contributes $1 trillion in added value to the economy every year. For more information, visit www.gmaonline.org.

 About the National Restaurant Association

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 14 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 @WeRRestaurantsFacebook and YouTube