Upcycled Certified Program Now Part of Where Food Comes From

3rd-party certification organization acquires certification arm of Upcycled Food Association
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
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Where Food Comes From supports more than 17,000 food industry businesses.

Third-party verification organization Where Food Comes From has acquired the Upcycled Certified Program from the Upcycled Food Association(UFA). The move comes as interest in curbing food waste and documenting sustainability commitments continues to grow.

Upcycled Certified is the first and largest provider of certification for upcycled food. UFA launched the program more than three years ago, enabling operators who grow, produce, manufacture, process and trade in foods, beverages and other food-related products to apply for certification. Operators must demonstrate that ingredients they handle have been procured and produced using verifiable supply chains. Since the program began three years ago, 93 companies representing more than 480 products have signed on to become certified to the standard, including major CPGs like Del Monte and Kerry Ingredients.

[Read more: “EXCLUSIVE: The Importance of Upcycled Foods”]

“This acquisition enables Where Food Comes From to meet growing consumer demand for products that contain upcycled food ingredients,” said John Saunders, chairman and CEO of the Castle Rock, Colo.-based Where Food Comes From. “As the exclusive certification body for the standard since early 2021 – and as the most diverse food verification body in the country – we are ideally suited to take Upcycled Certified to the next level of growth.”

Where Food Comes From cited recent data from SPINS showing that 51% of consumers are more likely to buy a product identified as Upcycled Certified. “The upcycled food movement is closely aligned with broader sustainability trends in the United States and around the world,” noted Saunders.

Angie Crone, CEO of the Denver, Colo.-based UFA, said that the program realignment makes sense for all stakeholders. “UFA is thrilled that Upcycled Certified has become part of the Where Food Comes From family of certifications. Given the scale of the food waste crisis, growing demands on our natural resources, and increasing food insecurity, we need to work collaboratively and as quickly as possible to transform our food system into one where food is valued and never wasted,” she declared. “Due to its high profile in the food verification industry, we believe WFCF is the ideal partner to help further our mission to accelerate the upcycled food movement for impact at scale.”

In addition to the Upcycled Certified Program, About Where Food Comes From includes IMI Global, Validus Verification Services, SureHarvest, WFCF Organic and Postelsia divisions. The organization estimates that it supports more than 17,500 farmers, ranchers, vineyards, wineries, processors, retailers, distributors, trade associations, consumer brands and restaurants.

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