National Consumers League

NCL statement in support of the Food Recovery Act

July 31, 2017

Washington, DC– The National Consumers League (NCL) is pleased to support the reintroduction of Congresswoman Chellie Pingree’s (D-ME) bill, the Food Recovery Act, which aims to make food waste prevention and reduction more cost effective and efficient.

Since September 2015, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a national commitment to cut U.S. food waste in half by year 2030, we have seen groups across the food supply chain mobilize and create innovative solutions for sustained waste reduction. Yet, further progress could be achieved by streamlining our current food production and recovery system.

The reintroduction of the Food Recovery Act is a reminder to Congress that the impacts of food waste remain relevant. A study from as recent as 2015 shows that we throw out approximately 62.5 million tons of food each year. This waste is creating a financial and environmental burden that can be alleviated with help from Congress. The Food Recovery Act covers four major stakeholder groups: farms, retail and restaurants, schools and institutions, and consumers and local infrastructure. Policy initiatives that address food waste from farm to table allow for synchronized reform that can better guide organizations and individuals in their current reduction efforts.

Solutions such as standardizing date labeling language and creating protections for direct food donation can keep nutritious food out of landfills and drastically diminish the number of over 42 million Americans who are food insecure.  The bill also calls for more consumer education around food waste reduction and recovery. Consumer action has the potential to hold the most economic value, estimating a $4,531/ton financial benefit. 

The National Consumers League is proud to be working alongside other non-profit and government groups committed to reaching the 2030 goal.  Food waste reduction is a nonpartisan issue. At a pivotal time in our country, we urge Congress to pass the Food Recovery Act and move toward a more productive and sustainable food system that benefits all Americans. 

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About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.