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First USDA Food Loss and Waste Innovation Fair

First USDA Food Loss and Waste Innovation Fair

The USDA is to host the first-ever Food Loss and Waste Innovation Fair on May 26 (12-4 p.m. ET), to showcase USDA investments and business leadership in reducing food loss and waste throughout the food system.

“In the U.S., more than one-third of all available food goes uneaten through food loss or waste,” said USDA Food Loss and Waste Liaison Jean Buzby. “USDA is proud to highlight public and private leaders who are transforming the food system and combatting food loss and waste.”

The Innovation Fair will present businesses and research teams that have received USDA funding to research or commercialize cutting-edge food loss and waste solutions. Additionally, several USDA agencies – such as the Agricultural Research Service and the Food Safety and Inspection Service – will discuss their food loss and waste activities in research, measurement, education, funding, and outreach. Other presenters include several U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions, businesses that have committed to reducing food loss and waste in their operations by 50 percent by 2030. The 2030 Champions initiative is co-led by USDA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Among the presenters:

Lake County, Illinois received a USDA grant for a pilot community compost project. Activities include conducting a compost-to-farmland demonstration study, engaging community gardeners through education and outreach, and reducing and diverting food waste from landfills.

En Solución (Austin, Texas) was funded by a USDA Small Business Innovation Research grant to develop and deploy a sanitizer made from ozone nanobubbles to wash harvested produce. This technology has great potential to increase food safety and extend produce shelf life.

ReGrained (San Francisco, California) collaborated with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service to develop patent-pending technology to dry and process brewers’ grains into healthy, high-quality flours, transforming food waste into value-added – and tasty – products.

Sodexo, a global food service and facilities management corporation, will highlight their change management and operational engagement strategy to cut food waste in half by 2025 to reach their 2030 Champions target early.

 

This free, virtual event will feature virtual booths where visitors can learn about state-of-the-art solutions from business, government, and academic innovators. Attendees can text chat with representatives and other guests, watch videos, and download reports and other materials.

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Promising research on bioplastic from fruit waste

Promising research on bioplastic from fruit waste
Photo: Cristián Valdés Biochemist in charge of the project – FIA

Chilean researchers are working to create packaging containers for fruits for export to Europe and Asia using apple, pear, grape, peach and tomato waste. The initiative is promoted by the Foundation for Agrarian Innovation (FIA) and executed by the Universidad Católica del Maule, with support from the Foundation for Fruit Development (FDF) and San Jorge Packaging.

The biochemist in charge of the project, Cristián Valdés, said that the first stage of the process is to extract the nutrients from the residues of fruits and vegetables for the growth of a bacteria that produces the precursor of the bioplastic. The product “will be chemically treated in order to generate the material as such, to which antimicrobial properties will be added. Later, it will be transformed into biodegradable bags, shaping it by means of extrusion machines. Finally, the properties of the material will be optimised so that it is compatible with the packaging,” he said.

The project is in the first phase, related to the generation and optimization of the necessary conditions for the hydrolysis process of the different industrial wastes.

 

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US consumers join struggle to combat food waste

US consumers join struggle to combat food waste
Photo: USA store by Eurofresh Distribution Magazine

US consumers are making lifestyle changes to reduce food waste, according to new research by Proagrica. The study found that 76% of shoppers say they are more likely to shop more often and in smaller quantities to avoid having to throw away unwanted or spoiled food. Around 74% are now likely to buy more frozen food for the same reason, and 50% state they are now prepared to buy the “ugly” fruit and vegetables.

Men are more willing than women to accept less attractive foodstuffs (56% vs 46%).

As for who is most responsible for food waste, 41% of respondents said it is farmers, while 42% said it is manufacturers. Less than a quarter said it was consumers’ responsibility to reduce food waste by changing their own behaviours and shopping habits. Hence, the study suggests that the onus is on the food sector to do more to reduce the amount of discarded food. Nevertheless, 77% say they’re trying to reduce “food miles” by buying more locally sourced produce.

Graeme McCracken, managing director at Proagrica, said: “US consumers still feel it is primarily the responsibility of farmers and food producers to do more to alleviate the problem. Businesses in the food and agriculture industries need to actively show they are working together to make their operational processes more transparent and more efficient.”

 

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FairPrice combats food waste

FairPrice combats food waste © ALPHONSUS CHERN (Source: The Straits Times)
© ALPHONSUS CHERN (Source: The Straits Times)

Singapore retailer NTUC FairPrice is working to reduce its packaging waste while maintaining food safety and quality in preparation for new packaging requirements. According to a report by Eco-Business, FairPrice Group, which includes NTUC FairPrice, has established a dedicated team to liaise with suppliers as it gets ready for the mandatory packaging reporting that will begin in Singapore next year. The reporting required by Singapore’s National Environment Agency is the start of a process towards establishing extended producer responsibility framework for packaging waste in Singapore by 2025. This would force companies to become more accountable for the packaging they produce.  

Seah Kian Peng, chief executive of FairPrice Group, said addressing the problem of packaging waste has multiple benefits: “Tackling packaging waste earlier in the production process is a beneficial approach since it also helps the company to potentially save costs. We are constantly on the lookout to explore ways to reduce packaging waste while ensuring product safety and quality. A variety of packaging including cling wrap, foam nets, trays, and bags is used to ensure consistency, minimise damage and preserve the quality of the product, particularly for fresh produce such as leafy vegetables and corn. This means that we are able to prevent food wastage by lengthening the shelf life of this fresh produce.”

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Anecoop signs up to Pro-Enrich waste project for citrus waste

Anecoop signs up to Pro-Enrich waste project for citrus waste

Citrus production and consumption often involves a great deal of waste and environmental damage, but this may soon be a thing of the past! Spanish second-tier cooperative Anecoop has joined a European project Pro-Enrich to find new uses for citrus waste. The Pro-Enrich initiative aims to create a new business model for extracting high-value components from citrus residues, as well as from waste of tomatoes, olives and rapeseed. This will involve developing a flexible biorefinery process for citrus waste that will help fulfil the growing global demand for alternative sources of protein and phenolic product streams.

Anecoop is the largest generator of biomass residues from citrus and is joined in the project by another Spanish company, citrus refinery Natac Biotech. The project is funded by the Bio-Biobased Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) within the framework of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

 

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DiMuto Joins International Pineapple Organization (IPO) as Trade Technology Partner

DiMuto Joins International Pineapple Organization (IPO) as Trade Technology Partner
DiMuto 4T Suite Solution /// Source: Press Release

 

DiMuto, a tech-based trade solutions platform, is now the official Trade Technology Partner for International Pineapple Organization, a global trade organization. The new partnership will see DiMuto providing support to IPO members to digitalize their produce and supply chains while strengthening the IPO’s presence in Southeast Asia.

 

Singapore, 15 April 2020 – DiMuto, a trade tech solutions platform that provides end-to-end supply chain visibility for global agri-food businesses, has joined the International Pineapple Organization (IPO) as an official Trade Technology Partner. The new collaboration will see DiMuto providing support to the global pineapple association not only through its trade technology solutions, but also for R&D and marketing efforts.

The IPO is a Global Trade Organization of pineapple growers from pineapple growing regions around the world, maximize efficiency and profit for the pineapple industry through identifying common needs in Buying, Marketing, Cost Savings, and Consulting. With active presence in Latin America as well as the US, the cooperative’s mission is to identify common needs among its members and leverage the group to maximize efficiencies and economies of scale.

According to market research by Tridge, 28.3 million metric tonnes of pineapples were produced in 2018, and the export of fresh pineapples was valued at US$2.1 billion, increasing by 11% from 2014 to 2018. The top pineapple exporting markets are tropical countries such as Costa Rica, Brazil, Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand. A 2018 FreshPlaza reports that global consumption of pineapples continues to grow with the largest growth markets in Asia such as China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Philippines.

Under the partnership with IPO, DiMuto will be working with members to support the digitalization of their pineapple supply chains, as well as help strengthen the presence of IPO in the Southeast Asia region, in particular pineapple exporting markets such as Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines.

Using the DiMuto 4T Suite Solution, a 4-part trade technology solution combining blockchain, AI and IoT, DiMuto digitalizes the agri-food supply chain for data visibility and trade transparency, aiming to solve the industry’s various challenges such as food waste, food safety and food sustainability.

The DiMuto 4T Suite Solution creates traceability for every single fruit as they move through the supply chain by capturing important data at key supply chain stages. Individual products and cartons are tagged with DiMuto QR codes to assign each one a digital identity. These products and cartons are then digitalized through DiMuto’s proprietary Digital Asset Creation devices (DACky). Buyers can then use the DiMuto Receiver App to acknowledge the receipt of goods and provide feedback, all recorded on the DiMuto Platform to truly close the supply chain loop on one single platform. With the visibility provided by data captured as the product moves through the supply chain, DiMuto helps to reduce disputes over quality and creating trust amongst trade parties.

“IPO is always on the lookout for technology and solutions that would benefit our pineapple growers. I have every confidence that DiMuto’s technology will help create supply chain visibility for our members from around the world and help them grow their international presence,” said William Cavan, Executive Director of IPO.

“We are thrilled to have the support of International Pineapple Organization as we strengthen our presence in the produce industry. With our technology, IPO growers will be able to show buyers the high quality of their pineapples for every single carton before it is shipped. This creates trust and reduces uncertainty amidst the disruptions brought on by COVID-19,” said Gary Loh, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of DiMuto.

This partnership comes hot on the heels of DiMuto’s latest investment from Latin Leap, a Venture Capital Studio focusing on opening up opportunities in Latin America for outheast Asian tech-scale ups. To date, DiMuto has tagged over 30 million fruits and tracked and traced over US$100million worth of agrifood trades. With presence in 7 countries including US, China, Indonesia, Australia and Mexico, the partnership with IPO will strengthen DiMuto’s international footprint in the global fresh produce industry.

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Improving fruit shelf life with newly developed sticker

Improving fruit shelf life with newly developed sticker

 

StixFresh is advancing the fresh food sector with its latest innovation, a 100% natural and safe sticker that can be applied to a large variety of produce, such as apples, pears, avocados, kiwis, mangoes, and oranges, to name but a few. It was Kuala Lumpur-based innovator Zhafri Zainudin’s curiosity and sheer determination that allowed him to develop a solution that can ultimately extend fresh produce shelf life and reduce waste.

Plants have their own way of naturally protecting themselves from degradation. This extracted compound became the basis of StixFresh technology which prevents premature rotting and extends the shelf life of fresh fruits by up to 14 days.

Zainudin’s discovery caught the attention of co-founder Moody Soliman, whom he met at a conference in Dubai. Thanks to this partnership, StixFresh has begun pilot studies in the US, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Brazil, targeting various players in the food chain, from producers to packers, and even to distributors. The company has secured seed funding with the goal of launching the product in 2020.

Established in 2017, StixFresh has dual headquarters based in the US and in Belgium. The company is continuously innovating to cover more products in the market, thereby helping eliminate food waste and save the environment. For inquiries: Moody Soliman, 001- 612- 598- 8889; moody@stixfreshusa.com; www.stixfresh.com

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$161 billion of food wasted each year

$161 billion of food wasted each year

A report published by the USDA estimates the annual wastage of food to be at over $161 billion at the retail and consumer stage of the supply chain, with 30% of losses in fruits and vegetables occurring in the earlier stages of the chain. One factor impacting food loss is price volatility. When prices fall below production costs, it becomes unprofitable for growers to advance produce through the supply chain. When prices go up, growers may be incentivised to send products of lower cosmetic quality to market, which can then lead to increased loss further down the supply chain. Other influencing factors include labour costs, the availability of cold-chain infrastructure, aesthetic standards, consumer preferences, contract requirements, and policies related to the harvest and marketing of fresh produce.

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Sainsbury’s commits to £1 billion to become Net Zero by 2040

Sainsbury's commits to £1 billion to become Net Zero by 2040

UK retailer Sainsbury’s has issued a pledge that its operations will become Net Zero in line with the goal to limit global warming to 1.5°C, the highest ambition of the Paris Agreement, and a decade ahead of the UK Government’s own target. The project will focus on reducing carbon emissions, food waste, plastic packaging, water usage and increasing recycling, biodiversity and healthy and sustainable eating    Sainsbury’s will work collaboratively with suppliers and will ask suppliers for their own carbon reduction commitments. 

According to a press release issued by the retailer, its current carbon footprint is one million tons, which is a 35% absolute reduction in the last 15 years despite its space increasing by 46% over the same time frame. For the last six years Sainsbury’s has been awarded an A rating for taking action on Climate Change by the CDP, the highest rating of any UK supermarket.

Sainsbury’s will use the £1 billion investment to implement a programme of changes, with a focus on reducing carbon emissions, food waste, plastic packaging and water usage and increasing recycling, biodiversity and healthy and sustainable eating. The investment will enable the business to fulfil Scope one and Scope two emissions, putting the business on course for Net Zero a decade ahead of the UK government’s deadlines. 

The retailer will work with the Carbon Trust to assess emissions and set science-based targets for reduction, publicly reporting on progress every six months. The targets will align the business with the goal to limit global warming to 1.5°C, the highest ambition of the Paris Agreement. Sainsbury’s will work with suppliers to set their own ambitious Net Zero commitments, in line with the Paris Agreement goals.

Mike Coupe, now former CEO of Sainsbury’s, said: “Our commitment has always been to help customers live well for less, but we must recognise that living well now also means living sustainably.  We have a duty to the communities we serve to continue to reduce the impact our business has on the environment and we are committing to reduce our own carbon emissions and become Net Zero by 2040, ten years ahead of the government’s own targets, because 2050 isn’t soon enough. We have a strong heritage of reducing our carbon emissions – we have reduced them by 35% over the past fifteen years despite the footprint of our business increasing by over 40%. We invested £260 million in over 3,000 initiatives over the last decade, including the start of our LED lighting programme and refrigeration. Over the next 20 years we will invest a further £1 billion in programmes that will transform the way we do business and put environmental impact at the forefront of every decision we make.”

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Apeel & Nature’s Pride debut longer-lasting produce to fight food waste in Europe

Apeel & Nature’s Pride debut longer-lasting produce to fight food waste in Europe

 

Apeel Sciences, a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, and Nature’s Pride, a leading supplier of produce in Europe with a focus on innovation and sustainability, have announced that Apeel avocados are now on store shelves in Europe. As Apeel’s supply partner in Europe, Nature’s Pride has integrated the Apeel solution across its expansive avocado value chain to bring Apeel avocados to EDEKA and Netto in Germany, and Salling Group stores Føtex and Bilka in Denmark.

“Approval of Apeel’s technology in Europe demonstrates the European Commission’s commitment to addressing our planet’s massive food waste crisis, which is now understood to be a top contributor to climate change,” said James Rogers, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Apeel Sciences. “Our US partners are realising the value of Apeel and are halving their food waste in many cases. Our next critical step is assisting retailers across Europe in their efforts to reduce waste, while simultaneously improving profits and enabling customers to enjoy fresh, high quality produce with a longer shelf life and ripe time.” 

“Every day we work across the entire chain to create innovative solutions that will make the world healthier and more sustainable. Apeel allows us to significantly reduce food waste, so we are extremely proud that the result of our intensive cooperation has now reached the shelves. We look forward to reaching more consumers in Europe with our products with Apeel,” said Adriëlle Dankier, Chief Commercial Officer of Nature’s Pride.

“Food waste is a major challenge that puts a strain on the environment. This is why this is a high priority area in Salling Group and we are investing in solutions and initiatives to ensure that we reach our goal: a 50% reduction in food waste leading up to 2030. We are certain that Apeel can help make a difference, not only for us, but also for customers and households. Therefore, we look forward to introducing the solution in Denmark,” said Stephan Bruhn, director at Salling Group.