Several organizations banded together this week to release the US Food Loss & Waste Policy Action Plan, which calls on the Biden administration and Congress to take more action when it comes to fighting food waste. ReFed, the World Wildlife Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) are founding supporters of the new plan.
Between 30 and 40 percent of all food produced is lost or wasted, with $408 billion spent in the U.S. alone to grow, process, transport, and store food that is never consumed, according to an email from ReFed sent to The Spoon. Food waste is also a major contributor to climate change, with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimating its global footprint to be 3.3 billion tons of CO2 equivalent of greenhouse gases.
“Addressing this challenge is essential to building a regenerative and resilient food system that helps to mitigate climate change, reverse nature loss, and delivery positive outcomes for both producers and consumers,” notes the new plan.
To do that, the above organizations have compiled a list of recommendations for Congress and the Biden administration that would aid in the goal of reducing food waste and loss by 50 percent by 2030 (in accordance with the UN SDG Target 12.3.1).
The US Food Loss & Waste Policy Action plan makes five recommendations, as noted by ReFed’s email:
- Invest in the infrastructure to measure, rescue, recycle, and prevent organic waste from entering landfills and incinerators
- Expand incentives to institutionalize surplus food donation and strengthen regional supply chains
- Assert the US Government’s leadership on FLW globally and domestically
- Educate and activate consumers via private and public food waste behavior change campaigns
- Require a national date labeling standard
The plan, which you can download and read in full here, outlines each of these recommendations and delves into specifics as to what action steps might be taken by Congress and the Administration.
ReFed earlier this year unveiled its new Insights Engine, an online hub for both data and insights around the global food waste problem. It also includes an extensive database of companies innovating up and down the food supply chain to combat the country’s food waste issues.
Meanwhile, other notable supporters of the new Action Plan include Kroger, Unilever, Hellmann’s, and many other food companies.