11 Nov FWRA Associations on the 2015 Best Practices Guide
GMA Blog: Best Practices by Companies to Reduce Food Waste
By: Meghan Stasz, Senior Director, Sustainability
November 11, 2015
We have been talking about food waste a lot lately: about the size of the problem, why GMA co-founded the Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA) with the Food Marketing Institute and the National Restaurant Association, and about our recent convening of stakeholders on the issue. One thing we haven’t talked about as much is what is working when it comes to reducing food waste in the U.S.
FWRA recently released the second annual Best Practices Guide, which aims to help companies in the food industry either get started with food donation or food waste diversion programs or make existing programs even stronger. The guide is full of industry solutions ranging from how to get food to those in need to how to measure food waste. This kind of sharing of success stories can help food companies meet the three goals of FWRA: reduce the amount of food waste generated, increase food donated to those in need, and recycle unavoidable food waste (like egg shells and banana peels), keeping that material out of landfill.
FWRA and this guide were created to help companies learn from each other. One innovation that many companies can learn from involves pudding. Yes, pudding. When a manufacturing line switches from one flavor of pudding to another, that line has to be fully “flushed” between flavors. That way you don’t get butterscotch in your vanilla. In doing so though, some of the previous flavor goes to waste. However, ConAgra Foods, which makes SnackPack pudding, saw this as an opportunity to look at their system and change the order of flavors that go after each other. The result? Intentionally blended flavors (think chocolate and vanilla). These “mixed flavor” puddings can now be donated. A win-win.
Another aspect of tackling food waste is finding value in excess produce. During harvest season, a significant amount of produce is often left in the field or orchard because there just isn’t a market for it. In the 2015 Best Practices Guide, we hear how the Campbell’s Soup Company teamed up with Feeding America in New Jersey to harvest excess peaches and turn them into peach salsa for the local food bank. This Just Peachy salsa is a great success story of how cross-sector collaboration can get food to the hungry and turn something that was once considered waste into a great product!
FWRA plans to update the guide annually as we continue to learn about how to reduce waste, donate more food, and divert food waste from landfill. We know companies are constantly finding new and innovative ways to overcome these hurdles every day. By sharing these successes, we can make a real impact on food waste.
FMI Blog: The Business of Reducing Food Waste
By: David Fikes, Vice President, Consumer/Community Affairs and Communication, Food Marketing Institute
November 11, 2015
The more daunting the journey, the more important it is to make the first step as easy as possible or else the allure of procrastination becomes impossible to resist.
Recently, USDA and EPA established a goal of reducing food waste in the United States by 50 percent over the next 15 years. That is a worthy goal because of the enormous economic, social and environmental benefits achieving it would accrue. It is also a bold and ambitious goal because reaching it will involve every U.S. citizen. Reducing food waste by half by 2030 will require colossal operational changes and managerial efforts in every link on the supply side of the food chain. It will also necessitate that consumers make substantial behavioral changes on the demand side of the equation. The road to food waste reduction will be a daunting trek, but a critical one – best begun by taking successful small steps.
The Food Waste Reduction Alliance – lead by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the National Restaurant Association (NRA) is seeking to make these initial steps as timely and as easy as possible for the food industry.
FWRA has recently released a new tool to help with the business of reducing food waste. The second annual FWRA Best Practices and Emerging Solutions guide highlights ways companies can begin, expand or enhance their food donation or food waste diversion programs. With success-proven case studies from grocery stores, food manufacturers, and restaurant and foodservice operators, this guide can help food retailers keep food out of landfills, and to reduce food waste at the source.
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.
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.
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 @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.