The Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA)—founded by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and National Restaurant Association—entered into a formal agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reduce food loss and waste through industry and agency-specific actions. The announcement was made by the participating federal agencies at the 2019 Food Waste Summit, hosted by ReFED.
As industry leaders and representatives of links in the supply chain, the alliance seeks to reduce the amount of food waste generated, increase the amount of safe, nutritious food donated to those in need and divert unavoidable food waste from landfills. FWRA’s mission and participation in this memorandum of understanding is intended to further the interagency “Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative” and build upon strategic priority areas aimed at:
- Educating and engaging the food manufacturing, retail, restaurant and food service industries to reduce food waste, including strategies to prevent, recover and recycle excess food.
- Informing stakeholders of the food waste reduction recognition programs currently available at each respective agency.
- Sharing best practices on successful, creative and innovative solutions to reduce wasted food across industry sectors.
- Increasing industry awareness of the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act so as to encourage safe and effective food donation and recovery.
FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin said, “FWRA was founded with the conviction that the entire supply chain has a role to play in reducing food waste; food retailers are committed to fulfilling their responsibility in addressing this issue of such tremendous impact for the communities we serve. Despite the important progress that has been made in increasing donations and diverting waste from landfill, we must continue to learn from each other to forge new alliances and create and implement best practices. Today’s formal agreement with our government agency partners represents a significant cross-functional commitment to pursue and amplify policies that encourage environmental, societal and business innovation.”
“The consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry is committed to reducing the environmental footprint of our products—from ingredients to packaging,” said GMA President and CEO Geoff Freeman. “Food waste remains the single largest category of material in U.S. landfills. By collaborating with FMI, NRA and these federal agencies, the CPG industry can better share best practices to reducing waste and find innovative, scalable solutions to keep valuable material like food and packaging out of landfills. We are proud to support the Food Waste Reduction Alliance and look forward to working with our partners to putting an end to food waste.”
“The National Restaurant Association is proud to be a part of this collaboration between the EPA, FDA, USDA, and the Food Waste Reduction Alliance,” said Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “The restaurant industry is one of opportunity, and reducing food waste provides our members with more opportunities to serve our communities and our customers. We look forward to working with our partners to share best practices on food waste reduction and, with greater clarity on liability protections for food donation, make it easier for owners and operators to make food donations in their communities. By reducing food waste, we can serve those in need today and set the table for success tomorrow.”
FWRA will continue to strategically focus on bringing industry innovation to the forefront through case studies and current industry best practices. Since 2011, FWRA has released insights, model practices and emerging solutions compiled from more than 40 FWRA member companies and expert partners from the hunger relief and waste management sectors.