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Agencies partner on food waste reduction

Three federal agencies—the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—announced a new partnership with the Food Waste Reduction Alliance.

It is the latest effort in the Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative launched by the three federal agencies in 2018.

Through this memo of understanding, the three agencies will formalize industry education and outreach efforts with the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the Food Marketing Institute and the National Restaurant Association, the three founding partners of the Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA).

FWRA represents three major sectors of the supply chain: food manufacturing, retail and restaurant and food service.

The alliance pursues three goals: reducing the amount of food waste generated, increasing the amount of safe and nutritious food donated to those in need and diverting food waste from landfills.

“USDA shares many common goals with the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, including our belief in the power of teamwork,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said. “We are proud to join this public-private partnership to prompt action throughout the food system.”

Federal officials shared the news at the 2019 Food Waste Summit. At the event, federal officials also recognized the growing list of U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions, a group of corporations and organizations that have made a public commitment to reduce food loss and waste in their U.S. operations by 50 percent by the year 2030.

“EPA is proud to build upon the Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative through this partnership with leaders of the Food Waste Reduction Alliance,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said. “Reducing food loss and waste has many environmental and social benefits. By collaborating with these major segments of the food supply chain, we are making progress toward the national goal to reduce food loss and waste by 50 percent by 2030.”

In the U.S., more than one-third of all available food goes uneaten through loss or waste. Food is the single largest type of waste in daily trash.

In recent years, great strides have been made to highlight and mitigate food loss and waste.

“The issues of food waste and food safety go hand-in-hand, and we will continue to work with our federal partners and other stakeholders on enhancing our efforts to reduce food waste and do it safely,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless, M.D. “We are committed to doing all that we can to support safe and sound food policy decisions that are good for our families, good for our communities and good for our planet.”

The Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative is a collaborative effort among USDA, EPA and FDA to reduce food loss and waste through combined and agency-specific action. Individually and collectively, these agencies contribute to the initiative, encourage long-term reductions and work toward the goal of reducing food loss and waste in the United States. These actions include research, community investments, education and outreach, voluntary programs, public-private partnerships, tool development, technical assistance, event participation and policy discussion.

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