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5 Grocers Among 1st Food Waste Champs

Ahold USA, Delhaize America, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Wegmans Food Markets and Weis Markets have been named to the inaugural class of the U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions, which was established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency to recognize U.S. businesses and organizations that have commited to concrete steps to reduce food loss and waste in their operations 50 percent by 2030.

Joining the champion grocers for recognition by the federal agencies are 15 other food industry constituents, including Blue Apron, Bon Appétit Management Co., Campbell Soup Co., Conagra Brands, General Mills, Kellogg Co., PepsiCo, Sodexo, Unilever and YUM! Brands.

“The founding 2030 Champions have shown exceptional leadership in the fight to reduce, recover and recycle food loss and waste,” noted USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. "The staggering amount of wasted food in the United States has far-reaching impacts on food security, resource conservation and climate change. To help galvanize U.S. efforts to reduce food loss and waste, USDA and EPA announced the first U.S. food loss and waste reduction goal in September 2015. Today, the first 15 Champions are stepping up to do their part to help the nation reach this critical goal.”

“Reducing food waste is good for business, it’s good for the environment, and it’s good for our communities,” added EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “We need leaders in every field and every sector to help us reach our food loss goal. That's why we're excited to work with the 2030 Champions and others across the food retail industry as we work together to ensure that we feed families instead of landfills.”

Each 2030 Champion establishes a baseline marking where they are today, and will measure and report on their progress toward the goal in ways that make sense for their respective organizations.

In the United States, EPA estimates that more food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material in everyday trash, about 21 percent of the waste stream, while USDA’s Economic Research Service estimates that the amount of food that went uneaten at the retail and consumer levels in the baseline year of 2010 represented 31 percent of the available food supply, about 133 billion pounds of food worth an estimated $161.6 billion.

According to the government agencies, success in reducing food waste will require action from the entire food system, including the food industry, nonprofits, governments and individuals.

Details on becoming a U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champion can be found here. Businesses not yet in a position to make the 50 percent reduction commitment can participate in the Food Recovery Challenge or the U.S. Food Waste Challenge.

Additional background and contact information for the 15 inaugural Champions is available here.

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