June 4, 2013 – WASHINGTON, DC –
Today U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was joined by Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe to announce the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) new Food Waste Challenge.  In response, the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, comprised of leading food retail, food manufacturing and foodservice companies, issued the following statement:

“The Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA) is pleased to join the USDA’s Food Waste Challenge as a founding partner.  This is a natural extension of FWRA’s mission, which is to reduce the volume of food waste sent to landfill by addressing the root causes of waste within our operations, and securing pathways to donate safe, nutritious food or recycle unavoidable food waste.

“Recognizing our collective opportunity to lead on the issue of food waste reduction, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Food Marketing Institute and the National Restaurant Association announced a cross-industry initiative to address the issue in 2011, now called the Food Waste Reduction Alliance.  Today, the FWRA includes more than 30 manufacturing, retailing and foodservice companies, along with expert partners from the anti-hunger community and waste management sector.

“By participating in the USDA Food Waste Challenge, the FWRA can better communicate the industry’s efforts to outside constituencies and work to engage and collaborate throughout the value chain and with other stakeholders. As an added commitment, FWRA will look to provide new platforms to educate and engage the food retail, food manufacturing and restaurant industries on food waste opportunities, challenges and best practices. One example of how the FWRA will achieve this end is by producing a best practices guide and toolkit this fall, which will help individual companies accelerate efforts to reduce food waste. The toolkit will contain examples of efforts already underway, guidelines and checklists.

“Importantly, the FWRA will also research, identify and report on key barriers that inhibit or complicate the industry’s progress in achieving its primary goals – to reduce, recover and recycle food waste – and recommend strategies to overcome these obstacles.

“We look forward to working with the USDA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and on behalf of the companies and industries we represent, respectfully acknowledge the important work of these agencies and all of the public-private partnerships focused on the common goal of reducing food waste.”


About the Grocery Manufacturers Association
Based in Washington, D.C., the Grocery Manufacturers Association is the voice of more than 300 leading food, beverage and consumer product companies that sustain and enhance the quality of life for hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe.  Founded in 1908, GMA is an active, vocal advocate for its member companies and a trusted source of information about the industry and the products consumers rely on and enjoy every day.  The association and its member companies are committed to meeting the needs of consumers through product innovation, responsible business practices and effective public policy solutions developed through a genuine partnership with policymakers and other stakeholders.  In keeping with its founding principles, GMA helps its members produce safe products through a strong and ongoing commitment to scientific research, testing and evaluation and to providing consumers with the products, tools and information they need to achieve a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.  The food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry in the United States generates sales of $2.1 trillion annually, employs 14 million workers and contributes $1 trillion in added value to the economy every year. For more information, visit www.gmaonline.org.

About the Food Marketing Institute

Food Marketing Institute (FMI) conducts programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations on behalf of its nearly 1,250 food retail and wholesale member companies in the United States and around the world. FMI’s U.S. members operate more than 25,000 retail food stores and almost 22,000 pharmacies with a combined annual sales volume of nearly $650 billion.  FMI’s retail membership is composed of large multi-store chains, regional firms and independent operators. Its international membership includes 126 companies from more than 65 countries. FMI’s nearly 330 associate members include the supplier partners of its retail and wholesale members. www.fmi.org

About the National Restaurant Association

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 980,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of more than 13 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We operate the industry's largest trade show (NRA Show in Chicago); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart); as well as the Kids LiveWell program promoting healthful kids' menu options. For more information, visit www.restaurant.org and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.