Dear ReFED Community,
It is a pleasure to write to all of you for the first time! As ReFED’s inaugural Executive Director, I’m excited to be joining a dynamic, driven team supported by such an engaged network of experts, practitioners, and visionaries leading the charge to reduce wasted food in the United States. I also want to take this opportunity to publicly thank Sarah Vared for her incredible leadership of ReFED over the past two years as Interim Director.
I look forward to working with you in this new chapter of ReFED as we build upon our Roadmap and, together, take action to reduce wasted food at scale.
Last month, ReFED launched groundbreaking tools around two of the four Roadmap levers of action: innovation and policy. The Food Waste Innovator Database highlights over 400 innovators who are building new industries to reduce wasted food. The Food Waste Policy Finder identifies leading and lagging state policies that enable or block food waste reduction. Together, these tools create a one-stop shop to learn about food waste innovation and policy. Learn more about these tools and key insights by watching our latest webinar.
In June, we will release a tool for standardized date labeling that will enable food companies to implement the FMI/GMA commitment to standardize date labels. Date labeling is one of the most cost-effective solutions to reduce waste, with the potential to save consumers $29 billion per year by reducing consumer confusion over the meaning of labels. The Date Labeling Tool was developed through a multi-stakeholder process and will be open to public comment. We plan to test and refine the guide with key partners over the summer and finalize the guide this fall for widespread use.
Over the next few months, we will be working with retailers, restaurants and food service providers to develop and apply stakeholder-specific action guides. These guides break down the Roadmap into stakeholder-specific actions, providing new solutions and case studies. We will develop these stakeholder guides with leading companies and help them further implement the key solutions in their businesses. We will release the guides this fall.
As we head into the summer, look for updates on upcoming events, including the NYC Food Waste Fair, which ReFED has supported as a host committee member, and the Global Sustainability Summit, where ReFED will convene a solutions workshop for retailers and manufacturers. Later this year, we also plan to release new resources that support our mission to catalyze leading U.S. organizations to harness economic, social, and environmental value from wasted food.
Executive Director, ReFED
ReFED in Action
Food Waste Innovator Database and Policy Finder Launch!
On April 18, ReFED released two new interactive online tools:
Innovator Database (refed.org/innovators)
Over 400 commercial and nonprofit entities are turning the problem of food waste into an opportunity for economic, social, and environmental impacts. Explore the dynamic, expanding food waste innovation industry, categorized by solution type and geographic location.
Food Waste Policy Finder (refed.org/policy)
Developed in partnership with Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic, the Policy Finder provides an overview of federal and state food waste laws, including date labeling regulations, liability protections, tax incentives, animal feed regulations, and organic waste bans. The Policy Finder will support advocates and empower policymakers to develop more effective policies to promote food waste prevention, recovery, and recycling.
The new tools gained immediate traction on social media and were featured by The Washington Post and National Post, as well as in blogs from GRACE Communications Foundation, One Green Planet, and Food Future Co. To support the launch of the tools, ReFED interviewed Caue Suplicy, Founder and CEO of Barnana, to learn what it’s like to be a pioneer in the ‘Food Product Creation’ space. Read this and other ReFED articles in our-new Content Hub!
Opportunities to Reduce Food Waste in the 2018 Farm Bill
ReFED and Food Policy Action recently supported Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic’s efforts to publish a report [http://www.chlpi.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Opportunities-to-Reduce-Food-Waste-in-the-2018-Farm-Bill_May-2017.pdf] providing recommendations on how the farm bill could be used to address food waste. Passed every five years, the farm bill allocates roughly $500 billion in spending on nutrition and agriculture programs in the U.S., providing a compelling opportunity to promote food waste solutions.
ReFED Welcomes New Program Manager
In addition to welcoming Executive Director, Chris Cochran, we’re also pleased to announce that Katy Franklin has joined ReFED as our newest Program Manager. Katy brings years of food waste experience to the team, most recently working on food waste initiatives at Sustainable America. Welcome, Katy!
Updates From the ReFED Network
Assessing Corporate Performance on Food Waste Reduction: Strategic Guide for Investors
In April, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Trillium Asset Management released Assessing Corporate Performance on Food Waste Reduction: A Strategic Guide for Investors. The issue brief was developed to educate large investors who own shares in food businesses about the consequences of wasting food, and the role they can play in urging companies to take action to reduce food waste. Learn more.
The Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste
In March, World Resources Institute and WRAP released The Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste, prepared on behalf of Champions 12.3. The new report clearly lays out the business case for reducing food loss and waste, based on surveys of 1,200 business sites across 700 companies in 17 countries. Read more.
Food Sustainability Index
Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition and The Economist Intelligent Unit recently released the Food Sustainability Index, “…a tool designed to highlight international policies and best practices relating to global paradoxes and to the main SDGs for food, climate change, sustainable cities, responsible production and consumption, health, gender equality, education and infrastructure.” Learn more.
Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program
As part of its efforts to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions, CalRecycle will offer grants for food waste prevention and food rescue projects in California. The grant application process is scheduled to begin in late May (stakeholders will be notified via the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs Listserv when the application is open). Find additional details on the Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program website, or email GHGReductions@CalRecycle.ca.gov.
Say Hello! Connect With ReFED at These Upcoming Events
May 24, 2017
June 22-July 1, 2017
June 25-28, 2017
July 12-15, 2017
July 25, 2017
August 9-11, 2017