Businesses in the food supply chain have a new resource to help them reduce food waste.
The Food Waste Reduction Alliance, an food industry initiative shared by the Food Marketing Institute, the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the National Restaurant Association, has released a 25-page document outlining best practices and emerging solutions to cut food waste.
“The Food Waste Reduction Alliance has been working to tackle food waste challenges within the food sector since 2011, but we know that there are companies out there that are just starting to look at the issue,” Gail Tavill, vice president, sustainable development for ConAgra Foods and one of the authors, said in a news release. “Our goal for the toolkit is to elevate the issue of food waste within the sector and enable more companies to take action by sharing key learnings and model practices gleaned from organizations who are at the leading edge of this issue.”
Close to 80 billion pounds of food waste are discarded in U.S. landfills each year, according to the release.
“The sad truth is that while food is going to waste, 37 million Americans struggle to put enough food on the table to feed their families,” Karen Hanner, director of manufacturing product sourcing at Feeding America, said in the release.
Feeding America contributed to the document, according to the release.
While the majority of food waste occurs at the consumer level at home, the document focuses on what can be done to cut waste at manufacturing, retail and foodservice operations. The document examines strategies food manufacturers, retailers and foodservice operators can use to keep food out of landfills, according to the release.
Model practices and emerging solutions were collected from more than 30 companies in the Food Waste Reduction Alliance that make cutting food waste a priority, according to the release.
Among the topics in the document:
- tactics for overcoming obstacles to food donation such as liability and supply chain issues;
- emerging solutions and new technologies for recycling food waste, including energy production opportunities; and
- strategic planning to avoid food waste generation.
The tool kit also offers a “Getting Started” section for companies that are just beginning to consider food waste reduction strategies, according to the release.