U.S. agencies unveil strategy to reduce food waste

April 10, 2019

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have announced the release of a federal interagency strategy to address food waste. The agencies held an event at EPA headquarters to hear from state, local, and community leaders and other stakeholders on how all levels of government can work together to reduce food waste.

“The issue 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 that have an adverse effect on food waste. Contrary to popular beliefs, date labeling on food packages are often intended to communicate time ranges for optimal food quality, not safety,” said FDA Deputy Commissioner Frank Yiannas. “We remain committed to working with the EPA and USDA to better educate Americans on how to reduce food waste and how to do it safely.”

The interagency strategy—Winning on Reducing Food Waste FY 2019-2020 Federal Interagency Strategy—includes the following six key priority areas the agencies will work together on over the next year:

  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

Press release