A data-driven guide for businesses, government, funders, and nonprofits to collectively reduce food waste at scale
Together, we can reduce U.S. food waste by 50% by 2030.
Today, the United States spends $218 billion a year growing, processing, transporting, and disposing of food that is never eaten.
ReFED was formed to build a different future, where food waste prevention is recognized as an untapped strategy that can save resources, create jobs, alleviate hunger, conserve water, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions — all while stimulating a new multi-billion dollar market opportunity.
Executing ReFED’s Roadmap strategy involves marshaling $240 million of annual catalytic funding to help scale proven solutions, while supporting commonsense policy change and greater adoption of emerging innovations.
The benefits of each of these solutions outweigh the costs.
The aggregate financial benefit to society (consumers, businesses, governments, and other stakeholders) minus all investment and costs per ton of food waste diverted. It shows the amount of benefit received per ton of reduction and is calculated as the Economic Value per Ton.
Every year, American consumers, businesses, and farms spends $218 billion a year, or 1.3% of GDP, growing, processing, transporting, and disposing food that is never eaten. That’s 52 million tons of food sent to landfill annually, plus another 10 million tons that is discarded or left unharvested on farms. Meanwhile, one in seven Americans is food insecure.
Waste occurs throughout the supply chain, with nearly 85% occurring downstream at consumer-facing businesses and homes.
The financial cost of food waste ends up costing consumers the most due to retail pricing versus wholesale pricing for consumer-facing businesses.
ReFED’ analysis of the top prevention, recovery, and recycling solutions shows that 13.2 million tons — over 20% of annual food waste — can be reduced over the next decade in cost-effective and scalable ways.
Beyond this near-term 20% roadmap, ReFED has also identified the critical innovations, initiatives, policies, and awareness-building work required to reach the longer-term 50% reduction goal by 2030 as set by the federal government.View Solution Details >
ReFED is a collaboration of over 30 business, nonprofit, foundation, and government leaders committed to reducing food waste in the United States. ReFED seeks to unlock new philanthropic and investment capital, along with technology, business, and policy innovation, which is projected to catalyze tens of thousands of new jobs, recover billions of meals annually for the hungry, and reduce national water use and greenhouse gas emissions. ReFED was formed in early 2015 to create a Roadmap to Reduce U.S. Food Waste, the first ever national economic study and action plan driven by a multi-stakeholder group committed to tackling food waste at scale.
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