The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have set up a new partnership with the Food Waste Reduction Alliance. This is the latest effort in the Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative launched by the federal agencies in 2018 to tackle the serious issue of food loss and waste – estimated to affect between 30-40 percent of the food supply in the United States.
Through a Memorandum of Understanding, the federal agencies will formalize “industry education and outreach efforts” with the founding partners of the Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA). The FWRA represents the three major sectors of the food supply chain – manufacturing, retail and restaurant, and food service – and has three main goals: reducing the amount of food waste generated; increasing the amount of safe, 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,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “We are proud to join this public-private partnership to prompt action throughout the food system.”
“EPA is proud to build upon the Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative through this partnership with leaders of the Food Waste Reduction Alliance,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “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.”
“The FDA strongly supports our shared goal of reducing the amount of food that Americans waste through important efforts like today’s agreement,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless, M.D. “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. 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 partnership was announced at the 2019 Food Waste Summit, at which the EPA, FDA and USDA also released a public service announcement video discussing the importance of reducing food loss and waste for the sake of the environment, public health, business and the wider economy.
Read more about food waste reduction goals in the U.S.