The USDA and EPA have set the first-ever national food waste reduction goal for the U.S., calling for a 50 percent reduction by 2030. As part of the effort, the federal government will lead a new partnership with charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, the private sector and local, state and tribal governments to reduce food loss and waste in order to improve overall food security and conserve the nation’s natural resources. The announcement Wednesday comes just one week before world leaders gather at the United Nations General Assembly in New York to address sustainable development practices, including sustainable production and consumption.
An array of voices from across the food chain applauded this week’s announcement.
Jonathan Mayes, SVP of Albertsons, said, “Reducing food waste is an important priority for Albertsons Cos. As part of the U.S. Food Waste Challenge, we are focused on source reduction as well as providing food to other good causes such as hunger relief organizations and animal feed.”
Food Marketing Institute President and CEO Leslie Sarasin added, “Food retailers are community minded, neighborhood focused and intimately connected to the lives of their shoppers; as such they work closely with their customers on those issues touching both the heart strings and the purse strings. Reducing food waste at all levels in the food chain—farm, factory, store and home—is certainly one of those issues with economic and emotional appeal.”
Additionally, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is commending the goal.
GMA President and CEO Pamela G. Bailey said, “We applaud these new nationwide goals for reducing food waste in the U.S. Everyone has a role to play in reducing food waste, and the food industry has already stepped forward. Last year, GMA member companies recycled 93 percent of the food waste generated from manufacturing and donated 106 million pounds of food to food banks. We look forward to continuing our work on this important issue through the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, which was formed in 2011 by GMA, retailers and restaurant and food service companies. This cross-industry alliance works to identify sources of food waste, increase the amount of food sent to food banks and decrease food sent to landfills.”