Industry Reactions to USDA, EPA Food Waste Reduction Goals

Industry Reactions to USDA, EPA Food Waste Reduction Goals

Maggie McClain, GMA, 202-295-3937
Christin Fernandez, NRA, 202-331-5939
Heather Garlich, FMI, 202-220-0616

Release: GMA Applauds National Food Waste Reduction Goals

September 16, 2015

(Washington, DC) The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) issued the following statement from Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO, on national food waste reduction goals as announced by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and EPA:

“We applaud these new nationwide goals for reducing food waste in the U.S. Everyone has a role to play in reducing food waste, and the food industry has already stepped forward. Last year, GMA member companies recycled 93 percent of the food waste generated from manufacturing and donated 106 million pounds of food to food banks. We look forward to continuing our work on this important issue through the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, which was formed in 2011 by GMA, retailers and restaurant and food service companies. This cross-industry alliance works to identify sources of food waste, increase the amount of food sent to food banks and decrease food sent to landfills.”


Release: National Restaurant Association: “Food Waste Reduction Goals a Step in the Right Direction”

September 16, 2015

(Washington, DC) Today National Restaurant Association President and CEO Dawn Sweeney issued the following statement regarding the national food waste reduction goals set forth by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency:

“The reduction goals put forth by USDA and EPA are a step in the right direction towards reducing food waste across our country. The restaurant and foodservice industries have been working diligently to minimize our food waste generation through reducing the amount of waste being sent to landfills and donating food to those in need. The NRA will continue our commitment to educate our members on the importance of environmental sustainability and waste reduction through our Conserve program and as a founding partner of the Food Waste Reduction Alliance.”


Blog: Food Waste Reduction Goals

By: Leslie Sarasin, President and CEO, Food Marketing Institute

September 18, 2015

FMI participated in the September 16th announcement by USDA Secretary Vilsack and Acting Deputy Administrator Stan Meiburg of the goal to reduce our nation’s food waste by 50 percent by 2030. FMI, as a founding member of the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, was invited to present the food industry voice in this public-private partnership announcement. The event was hosted by City Harvest in New York City and Feeding America’s Bill Thomas also participated in the announcement.

The industry committed to work with government and the private sector to help achieve the goal of reducing food waste in the United States by 50 percent over the next 15 years.

My remarks at this event emphasized that the food retail industry takes the issue of food waste seriously and approaches it very pragmatically. I shared our commitment, along with that of our partners, the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the National Restaurant Association, to the Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA). In collaborating with Feeding America and a host of others, FWRA offers valuable networking opportunities with solution providers and produces workable resources, such as best practices in reducing food waste, that offer reality based applications and guidance to the various aspects of our food production system.

Clearly each industry group – food producers, food retailers and restaurants – has its own set of unique food waste challenges and each must clarify its own set of remedies, solutions and improvements. But it proves very fruitful for us to work together in seeking to eliminate our weaknesses and enhance our strengths. As a case in point, I shared with the audience that one of the primary food recovery programs for food retailers focuses on donations to food banks and provided statistics pointing to progress we’ve achieved in that area.

In 2006, food retailers donated 140 million pounds of food to food banks. While impressive, through improved collaborations with our friends at Feeding America, this past year, grocers donated more than 1.4 billion pounds of food. That’s a dramatic improvement, but there still remains room for growth, so FMI remain firmly committed to our Alliance’s goals to divert food waste from landfills by 1) Reducing the amount of food waste generated, 2) Repurposing through increased donations, and 3) Recycling food waste that can’t be avoided.

Through FMI’s work with our Alliance partners, we were proud to participate as one of the original members supporting the USDA/EPA Food Waste Challenge when it was launched in 2013.

As these groups take the next step – articulated in Wednesday’s announcement of a nationwide 50 percent food waste reduction by 2030 – FMI and the Food Waste Reduction Alliance is pleased to continue the journey as part of the government, industry and private sector collaboration working together on solutions to the problem of 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.

About the National Restaurant Association

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 14 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 May 21-24, 2016, 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 and find us on Twitter@WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.

About the Food Marketing Institute

Food Marketing Institute proudly advocates on behalf of the food retail industry. FMI’s U.S. members operate nearly 40,000 retail food stores and 25,000 pharmacies, representing a combined annual sales volume of almost $770 billion. Through programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations, FMI offers resources and provides valuable benefits to more than 1,225 food retail and wholesale member companies in the United States and around the world. FMI membership covers the spectrum of diverse venues where food is sold, including single owner grocery stores, large multi-store supermarket chains and mixed retail stores. For more information, visit and for information regarding the FMI foundation, visit