The Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA) — a joint effort of the Consumer Brands Association, FMI - The Food Industry Association and the National Restaurant Association — has issued a report, “Messy but Worth It: Lessons Learned from Fighting Food Waste,” offering expert advice on the issue.
FWRA spoke with grocers, food manufacturers and foodservice operators to get their best practices on how to successfully roll out a food waste reduction program and keep it going. Among the key recommendations:
- Create an internal food waste prevention culture that includes education and cross-functional teamwork.
- Research local infrastructure, and make plans based on available resources.
- Recover and redistribute surplus food to feed the community; a nonprofit partner can boost efforts to donate food and enhance community impact.
- Measure current food waste status, or it won’t get managed; understanding an organization’s food waste “foodprint” along the supply chain uncovers opportunities for improving logistics.
- Consider composting, which can be a great addition to a comprehensive diversion strategy.
“The best way we can end the food waste crisis is by learning from the organizations, companies and people who have successfully done so, which is why this report is so critical for helping our collective industries combat it,” said Meghan Stasz, VP, packaging and sustainability at the Arlington, Va.-based Consumer Brands Association. “While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, this report provides the framework for companies large and small to institute smart, scalable solutions to reducing food waste.”
Added Andy Harig, VP, tax, trade, sustainability and policy development at Arlington-based FMI, “Our organizations all share a common goal to showcase practical application of proven food waste mitigation strategies and reduce operational costs – this guide adds color to the process.”
The report is a companion to the FWRA Best Practices and Emerging Solutions Guide, last updated in 2015, which provides strategies from retailers, food manufacturers and foodservice operators to help others keep food out of landfills and lower food waste at the source.