FDA, USDA, EPA Increase Food Waste & Loss Efforts

The three agencies have renewed their Federal Interagency Collaboration to Reduce Food Loss and Waste (FIFLAW).

Kristen Kazarian, Managing Editor

May 31, 2024

3 Min Read
FDA, USDA, & EPA Increase Food Waste, Loss Efforts
The collaboration was formed in 2018 and then renewed in 2020.Roman Mykhalchuk/iStock/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

The US Food and Drug Administration announced the signing of a formal agreement with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to renew their Federal Interagency Collaboration to Reduce Food Loss and Waste (FIFLAW).

Additionally, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) joined the collaboration as an important federal partner that has an international reach in reducing food loss and waste, marking a significant expansion of the federal collaboration.

This comes just a few weeks after the three agencies announced they are working together on a Biotechnology Regulatory Plan to implement regulatory reform, including identification of regulations and guidance documents that can be updated, streamlined, or clarified, and identification of potential new guidance or regulations, where needed.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan, FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D., and USAID Administrator Samantha Power signed the agreement renewing and enhancing the effort to reduce food loss and waste.

"The FDA is committed to achieving the goal of a 50% reduction of food loss and waste by 2030 through a whole-of-government approach in collaboration with the USDA, EPA and USAID," said FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D. "We also recognize the role that empowered US. consumers can play in helping to reach the national food waste reduction goal. We encourage consumers and retailers to use the FDA's food loss and waste reduction resources including the 2022 Food Code, Tips to Reduce Food Waste, and the Food Loss and Waste Social Media Toolkit  to bolster their efforts."

The collaboration produces educational and guidance materials (e.g., tool development), conduct outreach (e.g., federal panels at events), research, community investments, voluntary programs, technical assistance, policy discussion and public-private partnerships. With the addition of USAID, the US government can expand its efforts and reach to a wider range of international stakeholders while better leveraging government resources.

The agencies will work together with other partners to leverage the private and the non-governmental sectors to drive national and global change to reduce food loss and waste. One example of a public-private partnership is that USDA and EPA expanded membership of the US Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions from 30 Champions in March 2020 to 50 currently. The 2030 Champions are businesses and organizations that have made a public commitment to reduce FLW in their own U.S. operations by 50 percent by 2030. The 2030 Champions include several industry giants across the food supply chain, such as Danone North America, Smithfield Foods, Starbucks, Sysco, and Tyson Foods.

The Federal Interagency Collaboration to Reduce Food Loss and Waste was first formed in October 2018 and then renewed in December 2020. Since its creation, the Collaboration has published the draft National Strategy for Reducing Food Loss and Waste and Recycle Organics and are working together to produce a final Strategy. This draft National Strategy is a step toward meeting its national goal of reducing food loss and waste by 50% by 2030.

The actions outlined by the USDA, EPA, and FDA will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save households and businesses money, and build cleaner communities by reducing food loss and waste. The Collaboration has also developed and signed a collaborative formal agreement with national nonprofit, ReFED, to leverage resources to evaluate what is and is not working with respect to the technical implementation of strategies aimed at reducing food waste in the US.

About the Author(s)

Kristen Kazarian

Managing Editor

Kristen Kazarian has been a writer and editor for more than three decades. She has worked at several consumer magazines and B2B publications in the fields of food and beverage, packaging, processing, women's interest, local news, health and nutrition, fashion and beauty, automotive, and computers.

Sign up for the Powder & Bulk Solids Weekly newsletter.

You May Also Like