Trump administration renews food waste reduction efforts

Trump administration renews food waste reduction efforts

EPA, USDA and FDA renew formal agreement to cut food waste by 50 percent by 2030.

December 17, 2020

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the renewal of the joint agency’s Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative on Dec. 17. As part of the initiative, which was first launched in October 2018, the agencies affirm their commitment to work towards the national goal of reducing food loss and waste by 50 percent by 2030.

The EPA estimates that over 70 billion pounds of food waste reaches landfills every year, constituting 24 percent of discarded municipal solid waste.

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, which 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 led to advancements in the fight against food waste. Public-private partnerships, like the United States Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions program, are aimed at reducing food loss and waste by implementing effective strategies and best practices. In 2020, the Trump administration welcomed 10 new businesses and organizations to the 2030 Champions club. The 2030 Champions club is comprised of businesses and organizations that have made a public commitment to reduce food loss and waste in their own U.S. operations by 50 percent by the year 2030.

The United States is getting a handle on its serious food waste problem,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler says. “The 3-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,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue says. “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,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn says. “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 percent reduction of food waste by 2030.”

As part of the Winning on Reducing Food Waste InitiativeEPA, USDA and FDA issued their 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, the Federal Interagency Strategy was updated by listing contributing efforts for each of the strategy's six priority action areas, which include: enhance interagency coordination; increase consumer education and outreach efforts; improve coordination and guidance on food loss and waste measurement; clarify and communicate information on food safety, food date labels and food donations; collaborate with private industry to reduce food loss and waste across the supply chain; and 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 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.