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Need to Know

ReFED Analysis Finds Food Waste Represents $18.2B in Potential Profits for Retailers

The nonprofit released a guide that will help grocers develop waste reduction strategies.

ReFED, the San Francisco-based nonprofit committed to reducing food waste in the U.S., announced the release of the Retail Food Waste Action Guide, which states that food waste represents $18.2 billion in potential profits for grocery retailers.

The guide was developed in partnership with the Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA) along with input from more than 30 industry experts. It’s designed to provide grocery retailers with a set of solutions that will help prevent and recover food waste.

“We’re seeing a major trend of retailers increasing focus on food waste,” said Chris Cochran, executive director of ReFED, in a statement. “What was once seen as a built-in cost of doing business is now viewed as a controllable expense and source of value. ReFED is partnering with retailers to put these waste solutions into action.”

The Retail Food Waste Action Guide argues that the value of wasted food is twice the profits from normal food sales, and it gives information on existing solutions like standardized date labeling that can reduce waste without increasing costs.

“Today’s release of ReFED’s Retail Food Waste Action Guide offers a fresh opportunity for companies already deeply engaged on the issue of food waste, as well as those just starting out, to take a 360-degree view of their operations in search of new approaches and solutions,” said Andrew Harig, senior director of sustainability, tax and trade with the Food Marketing Institute, in a statement.

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