Alliance tackles food waste with new toolkit

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The Food Waste Reduction Alliance (F.W.R.A.), a cross-sector industry initiative led by the Food Marketing Institute (F.M.I.), the Grocery Manufacturers Association (G.M.A.) and the National Restaurant Association (N.R.A.), has released The Best Practices and Emerging Solutions Toolkit, a new solutions-based tool designed to help businesses in the food sector reduce the amount of food waste sent to landfill.

“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,” said Gail Tavill, vice-president of sustainable development for ConAgra Foods and one of the toolkit authors. “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.”

According to the F.W.R.A., approximately 80 billion lbs of food waste is discarded in U.S. landfills each year, with some a byproduct of manufacturing, retail and food service operations. The F.W.R.A. toolkit focuses on strategies food manufacturers, retailers and food service operators may employ to keep food out of landfills and to reduce food waste at the source.

Specific topics discussed in the toolkit include:

• 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 toolkit also offers a “Getting Started” section for companies that are just beginning to consider food waste reduction strategies. Conducting a waste characterization assessment, establishing standard operating procedures and developing collaborative relationships with partners from the anti-hunger community, waste management providers and other stakeholders are among the starting points outlined in the toolkit, the F.W.R.A. said.

The toolkit also features real-life examples and case studies. For more information visit www.foodwastealliance.org.
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READER COMMENTS (2)

By Rod Averbuch 4/17/2014 1:49:39 PM
The large amount of food waste is a lose-lose situation for the environment, the struggling families in today’s tough economy and for the food retailers. There is no single cure, or silver bullet for food waste reduction therefore, we should address the food waste problem in every link in our food supply chain. For example, the excess inventory of perishable food items close to their expiration on supermarket shelves causes waste. The consumer “Last In First Out” shopping behavior might be one of the weakest links of the fresh food supply chain. The new open GS1 DataBar standard enables applications that encourage efficient consumer shopping by offering him automatic and dynamic purchasing incentives for perishables approaching their expiration dates before they end up in a landfill. The “End Grocery Waste” application, which is based on the open GS1 DataBar standard, encourages efficient consumer shopping behavior that maximizes grocery retailer revenue, makes fresh food affordable for all families and effectively reduces the global carbon footprint. You can look this application up at EndGroceryWaste.com Rod, Chicago, IL

By Rao 4/16/2014 4:43:52 PM
One of the main reason for FW is rework created during processing. By employing best known Formulation practices and understanding the process parameters will certainly reduce food waste and finished product cost. Operations need to eliminate standard credit for rework. This generate more awareness by every one involved in product MFG Cycle. Just a thought.