Food Waste Reduction Alliance Briefs U.S. House of Representatives Staffers
May 11, 2016
Last week, members of the Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA) – representing the nation’s grocers, food manufacturers and restaurants – briefed staff from the U.S. House of Representatives on the alliance’s mission and progress to mitigate food waste in the U.S.
In collaboration with food donation organizations, NGOs, waste experts, and a host of other partners along the supply chain, FWRA produces workable resources, such as best practices in reducing food waste, that offer reality-based applications and guidance to the various aspects of our food production system.
Laura Abshire, director, sustainability policy, National Restaurant Association; Andrew Harig, senior director, sustainability, tax and trade, Food Marketing Institute; and Meghan Stasz, senior director, sustainability, Grocery Manufacturers Association, represented industry groups at the staff briefing and co-presented with executives from their member companies to raise awareness of how companies are already successfully implementing food waste reduction strategies and what challenges remain in the supply chain that Congress can help provide relief.
Abshire stressed, “The Food Waste Reduction Alliance maintains three goals: 1. Reduce food lost within our operations, so it never becomes waste; 2. Recover safe and nutritious food that might have been wasted by sending it to those in need; and 3. Recycle unavoidable food waste by diverting it away from landfills to more productive uses, including animal feed, compost or food to energy.”
Harig further explained the challenge of food waste and how each industry must leverage unique remedies and solutions, saying, “We appreciate the House Agriculture Committee staff for their interest in the ways our respective industries can come together to mitigate our weaknesses and enhance our collective strengths with a unified goal of feeding more people, sharing best practices and creating awareness among our businesses to anticipate cost effective solutions.”
Stasz concluded, “Food waste can happen anywhere along the supply chain, from the farm to the manufacturer to the retailer or restaurant, and in our homes or at work – it’s estimated that 25-40 percent of the food that is grown, processed and transported in the United States will never be consumed – so the opportunity and the need to reduce food waste have never been greater.”
Industry groups were joined by Michael Hewett, director of environmental and sustainability programs, Publix Super Markets, Inc.; Jessica Rosen, associate manager, sustainability, Yum! Brands; and Kent Wilson, Washington representative, General Mills, Inc.