MILWAUKIE, ORE. — Bob’s Red Mill has partnered with the Pacific Coast Food Waste Commitment and TripleWin Advisory, to cut food waste at its operations in half by 2030.

In collaboration with PCFWC and TripleWin, Bob’s Red Mill developed an employee engagement campaign to reduce food waste at its whole grain milling and packaging facility in Milwaukie. The company hosted a pilot program challenging employees to come up with ideas to reduce food waste from milling to packaging, to innovation, receiving and quality.

According to Bob’s Red Mill, employees submitted a total of 176 food waste reduction ideas. The company chose one quick-win (minimal effort, no-to-low cost) idea to test.

The test required a change to a whole grain packaging line that resulted in more than 70% reduction in wasted food per pound of food produced, the company said. 

“While the results were beyond what Bob’s Red Mill imagined, this is just the beginning of their food waste reduction journey,” the company said.  Based on the results of the pilot program, Bob’s Red Mill said it has formed a food waste reduction team and has categorized remaining employee ideas to potentially implement in the future.

“Already, early returns from the pilot have shown just how much one employee idea can move the needle on food waste reduction within a manufacturing setting,” the company said.

The pilot sought to simultaneously engage employees on the issue of food waste and identify no-to-low-cost measures to prevent food waste in the company’s manufacturing facility over the short term and long term, according to Bob’s Red Mill.

The term food waste was applied to uneaten food and inedible parts that ended up being landfilled, incinerated, disposed of down the sewer, dumped, or spread onto land.

“In short, it’s food that was grown for people but is not used for its intended purpose,” the company said.