Posts Tagged “food waste”
By Collaborative for Fresh Producee
DALLAS — Feeding America®, Feeding Texas and the Collaborative for Fresh Produce (Collaborative) have announced an exciting partnership to address hunger and food waste in the Southwest and develop a regional model that can be scaled nationally.
Beginning June 14, 2019, Feeding America, through a grant to Feeding Texas, which launched the Collaborative in 2018, will become the newest investor in the Collaborative for Fresh Produce. Feeding America’s investment will support the Collaborative as it hones a sustainable model to partner with commercial farmers and food banks to efficiently collect and distribute donations of imperfect and surplus produce to hungry families in Texas and across the Southwest region.
“At Feeding America, we are regularly searching for innovative approaches to solve hunger and ensure that more people have access to fresh produce, crucial for a healthy lifestyle,” said Anne Swanson, vice president of fresh produce sourcing at Feeding America. “We believe strongly in the potential of the Collaborative for Fresh Produce and, as a result, are very pleased to provide significant funding and resources to Feeding Texas to support the Collaborative’s great work.”
The Collaborative for Fresh Produce was founded because one in eight Americans struggles with hunger yet an estimated 20 billion pounds of edible fresh produce are wasted each year. To tackle this issue, the Collaborative uses state-of-the-art technology and optimizes supplychain logistics to offer growers, shippers and wholesalers an outlet to address large-scale quantities of surplus produce and to provide a low-cost option to food banks as they source fresh produce for their communities. The Collaborative funds its operations through the generosity of its donors in addition to a 1 cent per pound processing fee paid by food banks.
In fiscal year 2019, the Collaborative for Fresh Produce anticipates distributing approximately 60 million pounds of fresh produce donated by more than 65 growers and shippers, mainly located in Texas. This produce will then be accessed by more than 25 food banks in a six-state region: Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. These food banks supply thousands of non-profit agencies and pantries serving millions of people struggling with hunger in their communities.
“We’re so pleased that Feeding America has recognized the Collaborative’s pioneering work and wants to take a leadership role in developing a national model for our country’s agricultural community and its nationwide network of food banks,” said Lyda Hill, of Lyda Hill Philanthropies and the founding funder of the Collaborative for Fresh Produce. “Our goal from the outset was to work in tandem with food banks across the nation to create a scalable model, and Feeding America is ideally positioned to do just that.”
To avoid confusion with donors and food banks, the Collaborative for Fresh Produce, in partnership with Feeding America, will now take a supporting rather than a leading role in developing a national model and will continue to operate with a focus on the recovery of Texasgrown produce. Feeding Texas, the statewide network of Feeding America food banks in Texas, will support the Collaborative in developing the model and be its liaison to Feeding America.
“Feeding Texas was very honored to have piloted this program in Texas before spinning it off to become the Collaborative for Fresh Produce,” said Celia Cole, CEO of Feeding Texas. “We are committed to sustaining the long-term health of the organization and are now proud to shepherd it into this growth phase.”
Due to these changes, Simon Powell, president and CEO, and Jim Farley, CFO, of the
Collaborative for Fresh Produce will step down from the day-to-day leadership and operations. Beginning June 14th, Dale Long, currently the Collaborative’s executive vice president of sourcing will become interim executive director. Rhonda Sanders, CEO of the Arkansas Foodbank and board member of the Collaborative, will lead the transition efforts.
“We are delighted to see this effort gather this critical support from Feeding America,” said Jim
Bildner, CEO of Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation and chairman of the board of the Collaborative. “In addition, we would like to thank Simon and Jim who have been so instrumental in the formation of the Collaborative during this first year. Their dedication and passion to solve hunger and address food waste is to be applauded and we are extremely grateful for their service.”
To learn more about how to donate fresh produce to the Collaborative, contact Dale Long at firstname.lastname@example.org or 469-858-6190, or to make a financial contribution contact Celia Cole at email@example.com or 512-527-3624.
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About Feeding America
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, Feeding America provides meals to more than 46 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us onFacebookor follow us onTwitter.
About Feeding Texas
Feeding Texas (www.feedingtexas.org) is the statewide network of food banks. Its mission is to lead a unified effort for a hunger-free Texas. Feeding Texas works collaboratively to ensure adequate nutritious food for communities in Texas, improve the health and financial stability of the people served, and engage all stakeholders in advocating for hunger solutions in support of this mission.
About Collaborative for Fresh Produce
Founded in 2018, the Collaborative for Fresh Produce is a non-profit organization that is partnering with commercial farmers and food banks to fight hunger by fighting food waste. Through the use of state-of-the-art technology and optimized supply-chain logistics, the Collaborative created a sustainable model to efficiently collect and distribute donations of imperfect and surplus produce that can be accessed by our nation’s food banks and the hungry families they serve. Founding funders include Lyda Hill Philanthropies, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. For more information, go to www.cfproduce.orgor e-mail FreshProduce@cfproduce.org.
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Appearance. No matter how many times we’ve been told not to judge a book by its cover, waiting to pass judgement on something until after we get past its outside has never been an easy task for people to accomplish. Whether it’s what we’re reading or who we’re meeting, people have a tendency to set expectations based on surface assessment. But does the same hold true for what we eat? According to a recent Harris Poll, about eight in ten Americans (81%) confirm that appearance (i.e., not blemished or misshapen in any way) is at least somewhat important to them when shopping for fresh produce (i.e., fruits and vegetables), with 43% saying it is very or extremely important.
When listed alongside other fresh produce descriptors, appearance proved to be more important than provenance (i.e., locally grown or sourced), the retailer’s food waste practices, and organic. However, the price and seasonality are more likely to be important to a purchaser than appearance.
“Whether ‘ugly’ or not, produce is on the rise, up 5% in U.S. dollar sales in the latest 52 weeks ending July 30, 2016,” said Jen Campuzano, Director Fresh Perishables at Nielsen. “Choosing healthier and more natural products has become a priority for households across the country. For some, this means transparency in labeling, opting for foods with basic ingredient lists or embracing fruits and vegetables, blemishes and all.”
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,025 U.S. adults aged 18+ and surveyed online between August 10 and 12, 2016.
Despite the weight Americans place on appearance, more than three in five adults (62%) say they would be at least somewhat comfortable eating “ugly produce,” that is, fruit or vegetables that may be misshapen but otherwise taste the same. Moreover, three quarters of adults (76%) would expect to pay less for “ugly produce,” while a fifth (20%) could see paying the same as usual.
Despite professed comfort with eating ugly produce, fewer than three in ten Americans (28%) recall buying “ugly produce” in the past year, compared to 51% who are sure they did not and 21% who are not sure either way. And of those who bought “ugly produce,” six in ten (61%) did so for the price discount.
While the primary reason Americans bought “ugly produce” was price, the runner up answer from more than a fifth (22%) of purchasers was that they wanted to reduce food waste. Americans estimate that, typically, 10% of the groceries they buy are wasted, that is, spoil or go bad before they can be eaten. Over eight in ten Americans (84%) are at least somewhat concerned about the issue of food waste, primarily because they would like to be less wasteful (62%).
So how do Americans believe we can reduce household food waste? Nearly half (46%) of adults believe better storage for fresh produce is the key to waste reduction, followed closely by more than 2 in 5 (42%) who advocate buying less food, more frequently. Another 38% believe the solution is better meal planning, while 35% say it would help if smaller package sizes were available in the grocery store.
With 795 million people in the world reportedly going hungry, food waste is an ugly problem to face. In the U.S. alone, it’s estimated that consumers throw away $29 billion worth of edible food each year in their homes. Walmart is especially concerned with reducing food waste – not only because we’re the world’s largest grocer, but as an integral part of our EDLC philosophy that provides you everyday low prices.
Two culprits of food wastage are confusion caused by food labels and the tossing of imperfect, but perfectly usable, fresh produce.
Consumers often mistake date labels as food safety indicators; however, most of the labels are created based on peak quality. Adding to the confusion is the different language used on labels, including “best by”, “use by” and “sell by”. That’s why, in the last year, we started requiring suppliers of nonperishable food products under our Great Value private label to use a standardized date label, “Best if used by”.
The switch will go into full effect this month and involves thousands of products.
What really got our attention was a report released in 2013 by the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic and the Natural Resources Defense Council, The Dating Game: How Confusing Food Date Labels Lead to Food Waste in America. My team has been working on a solution since then.
After surveying our customers about how they would choose a food label that indicated a change in quality but not safety, there was a clear winner: “Best if used by”. I expect the standard labels to have an even bigger impact on waste reduction since many of our suppliers sell products under their own labels outside of Walmart. This is significant, as the global economic impact of food wastage comes to about $750 billion each year.
Although food waste has been making headlines in recent months, including an in-depth article in the Guardian, Walmart has been doing its part for more than a decade to create a zero waste future by affecting change in the way we do business and throughout our supply chain, especially where fresh produce is concerned.
For years we’ve worked with farmers to repurpose fruits and vegetables that may be slightly blemished or oddly shaped. These items usually make up a very small part of a harvest and aren’t a major contributor to food waste; however, we know every bit counts. A customer may not take home a triangle-shaped apple from our produce bins, but that apple is just as tasty when made into apple juice.
Earlier this year we began selling Spuglies, Russet potatoes that were less than perfect on the outside thanks to rough weather in Texas. Working with our supplier, we found a way to offer these at a value price. Our wonky veg test at Asda in the UK was so popular, we now offer it year round when farmers have enough supply.
Because customers around the world shop very differently, our team here in the U.S. has been working for months on our first spec for this type of produce. We’re exploring the ways to make these items available while providing value to our customers and supporting farmers.
Produce grown in the UK that does not meet retailer standards on size or shape or is blemished is often used for animal feed or simply ploughed back into the ground even though it is edible, with as much as two-fifths of a crop rejected.
The Uk’s global food security programme, also showed that the average household throws away more than 11 pouinds of food a week, and nearly two-thirds of that waste is avoidable.
Households throw away a fifth of the food they buy, wasting it for reasons ranging from cooking and preparing too much food to not using it in time before the packaging due date expires.
Retailers respond to demands by consumers for high-quality food by imposing standards that can lead to much of the crop being wasted. However, some progress is being made with supermarkets marketing “odd shapes and sizes” for fruit and vegetables.
In developing countries, much of the loss of food occurs during post-harvesting storage, processing and packaging.
Tackling food waste globally is a major part of the action needed to provide enough food to feed a growing world population sustainably and tackle hunger, which affects one in eight people worldwide, the report said.
Around a third of food produced globally is lost or wasted.
“Over 5 million people in the UK live in deep poverty, where basic food provision is a daily challenge,” says food expert Tim Benton.
The report highlights priorities for research to help reduce food waste, including improving harvesting and packaging technologies, good seasonal weather prediction and new ways to reduce food waste within the home.