Colorful vegetable waste scraps

TraceGains Food, Beverage, and CPG Solutions: Work smarter with a single location for all supply chain information and documentation.

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Food, Beverage, and CPG Solutions

Work smarter with a single location for all supply chain information and documentation that provides valuable business insight to drive continuous process improvement, reduces out-of-spec waste, and increases supplier compliance.

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Over the next 30 years, the global food supply chain must feed close to 10 billion people. That will be challenging enough on its own, but it becomes nearly impossible without tackling the lingering problem of food waste. Some studies suggest that 40% of food goes uneaten in the United States alone, with 95% of that unconsumed food ends up in a landfill.

Consider that food production in the United States:

  • Uses up to 10% of the total energy budget.

  • Takes up 50% of U.S. land.

  • Consumes 80% of all freshwater.

Food rotting away in landfills makes up the “single largest component of U.S. municipal solid waste, where it accounts for a large portion of U.S. methane emissions.”

It’s a crisis that regulators have taken to heart. In 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Food and Drug Administration released a national interagency strategy to address food waste. The FDA added to and built upon the framework to show progress and updated the plan on May 27, 2020.

“Our nation’s agricultural abundance should nourish those in need, not fill the trash,” then-U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said, addressing the initiative.

The strategy focuses on six critical priorities:

  1. Enhance interagency coordination.

  2. Increase consumer education and outreach efforts.

  3. Improve coordination and guidance on food loss and waste measurement.

  4. Clarify and communicate information on food safety, food date labels, and food donations.

  5. Collaborate with private industry to reduce food loss and waste across the supply chain.

  6. Encourage food waste reduction by federal agencies in their respective facilities.

The issues of food safety and food waste are intertwined, with research showing that there is confusion over the meaning behind date labeling terminology on food packages, which has an adverse effect on food waste,” then-FDA Deputy Commissioner Frank Yiannas explained.

“Contrary to popular belief, date labels on food packages are often intended to communicate time ranges for optimal food quality, not safety.”

Food waste falls into one of two categories, according to the Harvard School of Public Health:

  • Food “loss” occurs before the food reaches the consumer because of issues in the production, storage, processing, and distribution phases.

  • Food “waste” refers to food that is fit for consumption but consciously discarded at the retail or consumption phases.

For TraceGains customers, the benefits of loss reduction include cost savings in terms of both labor and energy consumption. In addition, according to ReFed, a multi-stakeholder nonprofit committed to reducing U.S. food waste, food and beverage manufacturers can make a huge difference by:

  • Increasing efficiencies through manufacturing line optimization to boost profits and reduce waste.

  • Collaborating with retailers on packaging adjustments, spoilage prevention packaging, and standardized date labeling.

TraceGains can help. With Supplier Compliance, customers can reject non-conforming ingredient shipments before they even make it to the plant. Even better, with Market Hub, customers can resell what would otherwise be waste streams as ingredients.

That’s just the beginning. Find out how TraceGains can help streamline your operations and dramatically reduce food loss at your facilities.