Arlington, VA – Today, FMI – The Food Industry Association provided comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the Draft National Strategy for Reducing Food Loss and Waste and Recycling Organics put forth by EPA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In its comments, FMI underscored the importance of addressing food loss and waste throughout the entire food supply chain and offered recommendations for consideration as the three agencies finalize the National Strategy.

FMI Vice President, Tax, Trade, Sustainability and Policy Development Andy Harig commended the agencies for incentivizing food donation in their approach. Noted Harig, “As steps are taken to implement the National Strategy, FMI encourages the agencies to address capacity building and expanding the infrastructure needed to manage surges in demand for food donations. We would also encourage the three agencies to work with industry to explore areas of collaboration such as better transportation logistics and the ability to leverage existing relationships between farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and retailers.”

FMI also supported the National Strategy’s inclusion of consumer education campaigns. Stated Harig, “EPA and USDA have both created excellent toolkits and resources to address consumer-level food waste. However, many of these tools have limited awareness and adoption simply because of the challenges of ‘getting the message out.’ FMI is pleased that the agencies plan to expand these efforts and create options for customization at the community level.”

Lastly, Harig noted the importance of improving metrics regarding food waste measurement. He commented, “FMI supports efforts to improve both measurement and reporting of food waste data. However, the measurement process can be challenging even for companies that have invested significant time and money to track waste in their operations; for many small and mid-sized operations, the obstacles to effectively capturing this data can be prohibitively expensive and time-consuming. We encourage the agencies to approach enhancing the measurement process with a focus on creating incentives-based opportunities and capacity building for the entire supply chain.”

FMI’s comment letter can be read in full here.