The magnitude of the food waste problem is difficult to comprehend. The U.S. spends $218 billion a year -- 1.3% of GDP -- growing, processing, transporting, and disposing of food that is never eaten. The causes of food waste are diverse, ranging from crops that never get harvested, to food left on overfilled plates, to near-expired milk and stale bread. ReFED is a coalition of over 30 business, nonprofit, foundation, and government leaders committed to building a different future, where food waste prevention, recovery, and recycling are recognized as an untapped opportunity to create jobs, alleviate hunger, and protect the environment -- all while stimulating a new multi-billion dollar market opportunity. ReFED developed A Roadmap to Reduce U.S. Food Waste as a data-driven guide to collectively take action to reduce food waste at scale nationwide.
This Roadmap report is a guide and a call to action for us to work together to solve this problem. Businesses can save money for themselves and their customers. Policymakers can unleash a new wave of local job creation. Foundations can take a major step in addressing environmental issues and hunger. And innovators across all sectors can launch new products, services, and business models. There will be no losers, only winners, as food finds its way to its highest and best use.