WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced the renewal of the joint agency formal agreement including the Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative. The agreement reaffirms the agencies’ commitment to improve coordination and communication efforts to better educate Americans on the impacts and importance of reducing food loss and waste. Food loss and waste negatively impact food security, the economy, communities, and the environment.
Since the Trump Administration launched the Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative, the collaborative effort has achieved great success. Public-private partnerships, like the United States Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions, are key to successfully reducing food loss and waste by implementing proven strategies and sharing best practices. In 2020, the Trump Administration welcomed ten new businesses and organizations to the 2030 Champions.
Today’s renewed three-year agreement will continue to build on these successful partnerships and reiterate the agencies’ shared commitment to work towards the national goal of reducing food loss and waste by 50 percent by 2030.
“The United States is getting a handle on its serious food waste problem,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “The three-year renewal of this joint agency agreement will help our country achieve its ambitious goal of cutting food waste by 50 percent by 2030.”
“Our nation’s agricultural abundance should be used to nourish those in need, not fill the trash,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “As the world’s population continues to grow and the food systems continue to evolve, now is the time to continue to educate consumers and businesses alike on the need for food waste reduction.”
“We’ve seen great strides in food loss and waste reduction since first entering the joint agency formal agreement with our Federal colleagues, and through collaborative efforts with our public and private partners,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D. “At FDA, we’ve encouraged food manufacturers and retailers to standardize the way quality-based date labels are used on packaged foods and developed videos and materials to educate consumers. With these continued partnerships and important efforts, we’re on track to see a 50% reduction of food waste by 2030.”
As part of the Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative, EPA, USDA, and FDA issued its FY2019-2020 Federal Interagency Strategy in April 2019, which identifies six priority areas on which the agencies will focus their efforts to reduce food loss and waste in the U.S. In May 2020, the Federal Interagency Strategy was updated by listing contributing efforts for each of the strategy’s six priority action areas:
- Priority Area 1: Enhance Interagency Coordination
- Priority Area 2: Increase Consumer Education and Outreach Efforts
- Priority Area 3: Improve Coordination and Guidance on Food Loss and Waste Measurement
- Priority Area 4: Clarify and Communicate Information on Food Safety, Food Date Labels, and Food Donations
- Priority Area 5: Collaborate with Private Industry to Reduce Food Loss and Waste Across the Supply Chain
- Priority Area 6: Encourage Food Waste Reduction by Federal Agencies in their Respective Facilities
The agencies also launched partnerships with organizations at the forefront of food loss and waste reduction efforts. In April 2019, the agencies signed an agreement with ReFED, a network of the nation’s leading business, nonprofit, foundation, and government leaders committed to reducing U.S. food waste. In October 2019, another partnership with the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, formalized collaboration on education and outreach efforts with three major sectors of the supply chain: food manufacturing, retail, and restaurant and food service.
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