Barriers Remain that Limit their Ability to both Donate Unsaleable Food and Recycle Food Waste

November 16, 2016 – ARLINGTON, VA – Food Marketing Institute (FMI), a member of the Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA), is proud to join with its collaborative partners in the release of the 2016 assessment of the industry’s contributions to combatting food waste.

The Analysis of U.S. Food Waste among Food Manufacturers, Retailers, and Restaurants highlights the most opportune areas for investment in the reduction, repurposing and recycling of uneaten food.  The majority of food retailers responding to the survey, 71 percent, indicated that they are aggressively investing in areas to improve food donations. 

In addition to feeding hungry people, food retail respondents said they are also investing in areas related to food waste recycling (67%), food waste reduction (63%), and food waste disposal (58%). Within these investment areas, many companies noted devoting capital and employee time into improving their food waste measurement and tracking.

FMI Senior Director of Sustainability, Tax & Trade Andrew Harig said, “The assessment is a snapshot of a broader supply chain effort to mitigate the instances of waste and ultimately get more uneaten food safely into the mouths of people and animals; the analysis serves as a guidepost for the broader supply chain to divert from landfill.

“Grocery survey respondents noted that they donate 25 percent of uneaten food for human consumption; recycle 24 percent of their food waste via compositing and another 24 percent to animal feed.  We hope our industry can continue to set an example for the nation’s grocery shoppers to do their part to waste less food at home.”

FWRA has been conducting a food waste operations survey every other year since 2012 to collect information on food waste for manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers, and restaurants. The research findings help companies better understand their efforts to reduce, donate or divert food that otherwise would go to waste.

For Media:

  • Analysis of U.S. Food Waste among Food Manufacturers, Retailers, and Restaurants can be accessed here.
  • Learn more about industry solutions and best practices on food waste here