Joint US agreement on food waste as Washington ‘props up’ food prices for tariff-hit farmers

Posted: 29 October 2018 | | No comments yet

Winning on Reducing Food Waste aimed at improving coordination and communication across federal agencies.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have recently reached a joint announcement under the Winning on Reducing Food Waste initiative. It is aimed at improving coordination and communication across federal agencies attempting to better educate Americans on the impacts and importance of reducing food loss and waste. In the United States, food waste is estimated at between 30–40 per cent of the food supply. This figure, based on estimates from USDA’s Economic Research Service of 31 per cent food loss at the retail and consumer levels, corresponded to approximately 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food in 2010. Wasted food is the single largest category of material placed in US municipal landfills, says the FDA.

Meanwhile Gregory Meyer in the Financial Times has reports that, “…Washington plans to buy $1.2bn worth of American-grown foodstuffs over the next year to prop up prices for farmers suffering from new tariffs on their crops in China and other trading partners. The produce will be donated to food banks and other need-based groups. The White House devised the food purchase and distribution programme as part of efforts to strengthen its hand in negotiating better trade deals. But recipients are struggling to find enough trucks, drivers and warehouse workers to move the food before it spoils. The purchases will increase by more than 50 per cent the amount the US agriculture department typically procures for donation.”