On behalf of the ReFED Steering Committee, I am extremely excited to announce that Chris Cochran, Walmart’s Senior Manager of Corporate Sustainability, will become ReFED’s first Executive Director, effective on April 3 (our official press release can be found here).
Exactly one year ago, ReFED launched the Roadmap to Reduce US Food Waste. Over the past year, we’ve passionately and diligently worked with many stakeholders to put the Roadmap into action. Our efforts have included a multi-stakeholder initiative to standardize date labels; collecting data and generating insights on the innovation taking place to reduce food waste, as well as effective policies and financing strategies to facilitate meaningful reductions in wasted food. In 2017, we will continue developing the tools and resources that businesses, nonprofits, government, and investors need to put solutions into action.
The hiring of an Executive Director marks an important transition for ReFED from our roots as a research initiative with the simple goal of developing a strategic roadmap to an organization that will work creatively and strategically to catalyze the action and investment needed to realize the Roadmap’s promise.
We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Chris take on this role, and we are confident that he has the passion, vision, and leadership skills to bring ReFED to new levels of success. In his role at Walmart, Chris developed a farm to consumer view of food waste while leading sustainability for Walmart’s global produce business. He also led cross-sector, multi-stakeholder alignment of company food positions on animal welfare and farm antibiotic use. Chris’ firsthand knowledge of industry’s role in food waste reduction will enable ReFED to continue tackling food waste from multiple points in the value chain, and we hope his retail background will bring together even more actors from the business community who haven’t – or otherwise wouldn’t – collaborate on food system challenges.
We look forward to welcoming Chris, and kicking off the next chapter of ReFED!