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15 Major US Companies Pledge 50 Percent Reduction in Food Loss and Waste

15 Major U.S. Companies Pledge 50 Percent Reduction in Food Loss and Waste

Bald Eagle at Tomoka Landfill, South Daytona Beach (Courtesy: Andrea Westmoreland)

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy today announced the inaugural class of the US Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions, US businesses and organizations pledging concrete steps to reduce food loss and waste in their operations 50 percent by 2030.

Champions announced today include:

  • Ahold USA
  • Blue Apron
  • Bon Appétit Management Company
  • Campbell Soup Company
  • Conagra Brands
  • Delhaize America
  • General Mills
  • Kellogg Company
  • PepsiCo
  • Sodexo
  • Unilever
  • Walmart
  • Wegman’s Food Markets
  • Weis Markets
  • YUM! Brands

Tom Vilsack, Agriculture Secretary:

“The founding 2030 Champions have shown exceptional leadership in the fight to reduce, recover and recycle food loss and waste.”

“The staggering amount of wasted food in the United States has far-reaching impacts on food security, resource conservation and climate change. To help galvanize U.S. efforts to reduce food loss and waste, USDA and EPA announced the first U.S. food loss and waste reduction goal in September 2015.”

“Today, the first 15 Champions are stepping up to do their part to help the nation reach this critical goal.”
Gina McCarthy, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator:

“Reducing food waste is good for business, it’s good for the environment, and it’s good for our communities.”

“We need leaders in every field and every sector to help us reach our food loss goal. That’s why we’re excited to work with the 2030 Champions and others across the food retail industry as we work together to ensure that we feed families instead of landfills.”
In the United States, EPA estimates that more food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material in our everyday trash, about 21 percent of the waste stream. Keeping wholesome and nutritious food in our communities and out of landfills helps communities and the 42 million Americans that live in food insecure households. Reducing food waste also impacts climate change as 20 percent of total U.S. methane emissions come from landfills.

Each 2030 Champion establishes a baseline marking where they are today and will measure and report on their progress toward the goal in a way that makes sense for their organization. There are many ways to look at food loss and waste and definitions vary. 2030 Champions are encouraged to consult the Food Loss and Waste Protocol for information on defining and transparently measuring food loss and waste.

For food waste in the U.S., EPA’s Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: Facts and Figures provides an estimate of the amount of food going to landfills from residences; commercial establishments like grocery stores and restaurants; institutional sources like school cafeterias; and industrial sources like factory lunchrooms. USDA’s Economic Research Service estimates that the amount of food that went uneaten at the retail and consumer levels in the baseline year of 2010 represented 31 percent of the available food supply, about 133 billion pounds of food worth an estimated $161.6 billion.

Cutting food waste in half by 2030 will take a sustained commitment from everyone. Success requires action from the entire food system including the food industry, non-profits, governments and individuals.

USDA research estimates that about 90 billion pounds comes from consumers, costing $370 per person every year. USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion produces a resource, called Let’s Talk Trash, which focuses on consumer education, highlighting key data and action steps consumers can take to reduce food waste.

Become a US Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champion!

Details on becoming a US Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champion can be found at www.usda.gov/oce/foodwaste and www.epa.gov/sustainable-management-food.
Businesses not yet in a position to make the 50 percent reduction commitment can participate in the Food Recovery Challenge or the US Food Waste Challenge.

Quotes from Companies listed on PotatoPro:

Conagra Brands

Gail Tavill, Vice President, Sustainability and R&D Readiness, Conagra Brands:

"Conagra Brands has been working to reduce food waste and divert unavoidable by-products of food production from landfills for many years."

"As part of the Conagra's recent materiality assessment, we determined that waste, particularly food waste, was of critical importance to our company and we are dedicated to its reduction throughout our operations"
More information...

General Mills

Jerry Lynch, Chief Sustainability Officer at General Mills:

"As a global food company, it's imperative to take thoughtful action to combat food waste. We will continue to advance our role in helping to reduce food insecurity, reduce the needless churn of the planet's resources used to produce food that is then thrown away, and eliminating the cost from food that is ultimately wasted."

"We are committed to doing our part–socially, environmentally and financially–and we support the USDA and EPA's continued leadership efforts to escalate the importance of food waste reduction."
More information...

Kellogg Company

Diane Holdorf, Chief Sustainability Officer:

"Kellogg cares about nourishing people with our foods, feeding those in need, nurturing our planet and living our founder's values."

"As a global food company, we have a significant role to play in helping end hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture. In support of the Sustainable Development Goals, Kellogg is committed to helping reduce food waste by 50 percent by 2030."

"Already, Kellogg has reduced waste sent to landfill by more than 60 percent since 2005, including food waste. We remain committed to ensuring edible food waste is donated to feed people in need, when appropriate. Through our signature hunger relief purpose platform, Breakfasts for Better Days, we're committed to fighting hunger and feeding potential."

"We also will continue our partnerships to develop sustainable agriculture programs with smallholder farmers that help prevent post-harvest loss in major ingredients relevant to Kellogg."
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Pepsico

Dr. Mehmood Khan, Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer of Global Research and Development, PepsiCo:

"Companies like ours have an important role to play in supporting the communities where we live and work, including cutting food waste in our operations and finding new ways to put more nutritious food in the hands of those who are hungry and undernourished."

"These goals, part of PepsiCo's Performance with Purpose 2025 agenda, demonstrate our continued commitment to running our business in a way that addresses environmental, health and social challenges around the world."
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Walmart

Shana DeSmit, Vice President, U.S. Fresh Operations, Walmart

"At Walmart, we are focused on reducing food waste across our entire operation along the farm to fork continuum. It is exciting to see the USDA and the EPA challenging the industry to reduce food waste by 50 percent by 2030."

"We have previously committed to eliminate food waste to landfill in our U.S. operations by 2025, and we are honored to be among this group of Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions."

"We have made significant progress in our own operations and have broadened our efforts to working with suppliers and customers to reduce food waste at every stage of the supply chain including implementing a standardized Best If Used By date label on our Private Brand food product, and engaging in consumer education on actions that can be taken in homes to reduce food waste."
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Yum! Brands

Yum! Brands on PotatoPro

Roger McClendon, Chief Sustainability Officer, Yum! Brands:

"Yum! Brands is honored to champion the US national goal to reduce food waste at least 50% by 2030."

"As one of the world's largest and fastest growing restaurant companies, reducing food waste is good for our business, communities, and the environment."

"We are proud of our industry-leading food donation program, Harvest, and excited about the opportunities to tackle this critical sustainability issue."
More information...
Companies in this Article
Conagra Brands, Inc. (NYSE: CAG) is one of North America’s leading branded food companies. Conagra Brands is the new name for Conagra Foods after the spin-off of Lamb Weston.
General Mills, Inc. (General Mills) is a manufacturer and marketer of branded consumer foods sold through retail stores.
The Kellogg Company is a manufacturer of ready-to-eat cereal and convenience food products. The Kellogg Company acquired the Pringles business from P&G in 2012.
PepsiCo is one of the world's leading food and beverage companies with over $65 billion in net revenue in 2012 and a global portfolio of brands, including several savory snack brands.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is an American public corporation that runs a chain of large, discount department stores.
Yum! Brands, Inc. (YUM) is a quick service restaurant company based on number of system units, with approximately 37,000 units in more than 120 countries and territories. The company operates the restaurant concepts of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.