Industry works to divert waste from landfills

10/18/2013 05:41:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

Depending on the year, that could run from 10% to 20%, she said.

Torrey has worked with local food banks to take what “ugly” produce, which is perfectly wholesome but just doesn’t make the grade.

“We feel very committed to helping and improving the health and nutrition of a segment of society,” she said. “It’s our moral obligation to do what’s right.”

But Torrey said growers and shippers also have to look at how to be cost-effective in the packaging and how to make it easy for the packers to divert the unmarketable crop.

“One of the biggest problems has been dedicating floor space,” she said. “Sometimes we have to wait for transportation. But we worked as a team and communicated our concerns.”

Consumers also play a role in reducing waste, Hewett said. In fact, they account for 51% of all food waste that ends up in the landfill.

He said the alliance is exploring public service announcements to help educate consumers about their contributions.

“Consumers need to understand how their behavior affects in just the environment but their own pocketbook,” he said, adding that the average family of four throws away $1,500 worth of food annually.

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Rod Averbuch    
Chicago IL  |  October, 19, 2013 at 12:24 PM

We should address the food waste problem in every link in our fresh food supply chain. The large amount of fresh food waste is a lose-lose situation for the environment, retailers and the struggling families in today’s tough economy. The excess inventory of perishable food items close to their expiration on supermarket shelves causes waste. Why not let the consumer perform the perishables rotation in the supermarket by offering him purchasing incentives for perishables approaching their expiration dates? There is a new GS1 DataBar global standard that enables an automatic incentive offering application for fresh food close to its expiration. The EndGroceryWaste application, which is based on GS1 DataBar standard, encourages efficient consumer shopping behavior that maximizes grocery retailer revenue and makes fresh food affordable for all families while effectively reducing the global carbon footprint. You can look this application up at EndGroceryWaste site. Rod, Chicago, IL

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