Tips to Jump-Start Food Waste Reduction

A new report highlights how manufacturing and retailers can keep good food out of landfills. 

March 06, 2020

WASHINGTON—How can food manufacturers, grocery stores, restaurants and convenience retailers keep good food out of landfills? A new report from the Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA)—a collaborative effort of the Consumer Brands Association, FMI—The Food Industry Association, and the National Restaurant Association—gives plenty of tips.

Messy but Worth It: Lessons Learned from Fighting Food Waste includes interviews with food manufacturers, grocers and foodservice operators on how to successfully launch a food waste reduction program and to sustainably nurture it over time.

Key recommendations include:

  • Forge an internal food waste prevention culture. Education and cross-functional teamwork will help shift an organization’s status quo.
  • Research local infrastructure. Seek opportunities for food diversion at the local level and plan based on available resources.
  • Recover and redistribute surplus food to feed the community. A nonprofit partner can improve and expand efforts to donate food and will enhance community impact.
  • Measure current food waste status. Measuring edible retail food waste isn’t always straightforward, so understanding an organization’s food waste “foodprint” along the supply chain reveals opportunities for logistics improvement.
  • Consider composting. If composting is an option, the experts believe it’s a great addition to a comprehensive diversion strategy.
“The best way we can end the food waste crisis is by learning from the organizations, companies and people who have successfully done so, which is why this report is so critical for helping our collective industries combat it,” said Meghan Stasz, vice president, packaging and sustainability for the Consumer Brands Association, in a press release. “While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, this report provides the framework for companies large and small to institute smart, scalable solutions to reducing food waste.”