USDA, EPA name two new members as U.S. Food Loss, Waste 2030 Champions

Published: Nov. 21, 2020 at 1:51 PM CST
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WIBW) - The USDA and EPA have announced two of its new members as U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Secretary Sonny Perdue and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the addition of Meijer, which is an American supercenter chain throughout the Midwest, and UNFIA, a North America Food wholesaler, to its U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions. It said Champions are businesses and organizations that pledge to reduce food loss and waste in their operations by 50% by the year 2030. It said the commitment of the businesses will help the nation move closer to the national goal, protect and save valuable resources and improve food system efficiencies while reducing waste.

“Businesses are leaders in innovation, and we applaud Meijer and UNFI for taking a leadership role in reducing food loss and waste,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “We encourage more manufacturers, grocers, restaurants, and other businesses to become U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions.”

According to the USDA, Meijer and UNFI join the already impressive list of existing 2030 Champions, including Ahold Delhaize, Amazon, Aramark, Blue Apron, Bon Appetit, Browns Superstores, Campbells, Compass Group, ConAgra, Farmstead, General Mills, Giant Eagle, Hello Fresh, Hilton, Kellogg’s, Kroger, Las Vegas Sands, Marley Spoon, MGM Resorts, Mom’s Organic Market, Pepsico, Sodexo, Sprouts, The Wendy’s Company, Unilever, Walmart, Walt Disney World, Wegmans, Weis, Whitsons, and Yum! Brands.

“Unfortunately, most of America’s current daily waste is in fact wasted food,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “We welcome Meijer and UNFI to our Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions program. Their efforts and leadership will help us reach our national goal of reducing food loss and waste by 50 percent by 2030.”

The USDA said it has taken significant steps to highlight the need to reduce food waste nationally. It said in October of 2018, it, the EPA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration signed an agreement to align efforts across the government to educate consumers, engage stakeholders and develop and evaluate solutions to food loss and waste. Earlier in 2020, it said the agencies updated the federal interagency strategy by listing contributing efforts in each of the following priority action areas:

  1. Priority Area 1: Enhance Interagency Coordination
  2. Priority Area 2: Increase Consumer Education and Outreach Efforts
  3. Priority Area 3: Improve Coordination and Guidance on Food Loss and Waste Measurement
  4. Priority Area 4: Clarify and Communicate Information on Food Safety, Food Date Labels, and Food Donations
  5. Priority Area 5: Collaborate with Private Industry to Reduce Food Loss and Waste Across the Supply Chain
  6. Priority Area 6: Encourage Food Waste Reduction by Federal Agencies in their Respective Facilities

“With millions of American families struggling every day to access sufficient, nutritious food, it is simply unacceptable that so much is wasted. We recognize the importance of collaboration as we work to address this challenge and are thrilled to join the U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions to share best practices with others in our industry. As a critical link in the food supply, UNFI is committed to digging in to help find solutions,” said UNFI Director of Sustainability and Social Impact Alisha Real.

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