US fresh produce companies collaborate to reduce waste

Greener Fields Together (GFT), in partnership with agriculture industry consultants Measure to Improve, LLC (MTI), is launching a new sustainability program to reduce waste across the supply chain. Ten of PRO*ACT’s top suppliers have already signed the Waste Reduction Pledge to dramatically reduce waste sent to landfill from their facilities.

Instead of merely conducting more surveys, GFT’s new approach will aim to inspire real change. Participants will work together in an effort to make genuine, verifiable sustainability improvements, collaborate on the toughest waste problems in the industry, and ultimately work toward Zero Waste both within individual organizations and across the supply chain. This goal of this supply chainwide commitment will reduce waste, resulting in cost savings, reduced environmental impacts, and more efficient use of resources.

Joe Cimino, Vice President of Procurement at PRO*ACT, states, “We are proud to work with our National Farm Partners that are leading the industry in incorporating sustainable practices into their operations, demonstrating a commitment to responsibly supplying their communities for generations to come.”

“Based on our experience helping the Ag companies tackle their waste challenges, we see GFT’s new Waste Reduction Pledge program as a game changer," said Nikki Rodoni, CEO and Founder of Measure to Improve. “Rather than dictating change, this unique collaboration will help identify solutions that are economically and environmentally beneficial across the supply chain.”

Reducing waste that ends up at the landfill is not only good for companies, but it also is important for communities. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that less than 35% of the 258 million tons of waste generated in the United States in 2014 was recycled or composted. Unwarranted waste in the agriculture industry could impact food security, resource conservation, and landfill methane emissions.

“At Ippolito, we believe sustainability is not a destination, but an investment in our continuous improvement. It becomes a culture as opposed to words on paper,” remarks Dan Canales, Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Processing at Ippolito International.

Benefits of reducing waste across the supply chain include: collectively solving some of the most challenging packaging issues, meeting buyers’ sustainability expectations, cost savings, supporting and extending Food Safety programs, engaging and educating employees, and reducing environmental impacts. 

Ultimately, the mission of the Waste Reduction Program will be to take a focused approach on diverting waste throughout the entire fresh produce supply chain. By starting with suppliers and expanding to distributors and foodservice and retail business, Greener Fields Together is able to target each component of the supply chain to offer practical tools and resources to divert waste from the landfill.

Participating Organizations:
For more information:
Hannah Ricci
+1 (831) 658-1919

Publication date: 2/28/2018

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