ReFED Quarterly | Winter 2021
Dear Friends:

We started the year unsure of what the months ahead would bring, but 2021 has turned out to be one of the most consequential yet in the fight against food waste.

From action (finally!) on the federal policy front to a big surge in private food waste investment to a heightened climate focus that’s helped to raise the profile of food waste reduction as a critical climate change solution, we have high hopes for what the momentum from 2021 will deliver in 2022.

The year was also consequential for ReFED for a number of reasons – including the release of our new Insights Engine data center and Roadmap to 2030: Reducing U.S. Food Waste by 50% report earlier this year, plus the launch of the ReFED Food Waste Action Network and just last week the launch of the Food Waste Funder Circle (with our partners at Upcycled Food Association).

It’s been wonderful to see the enthusiasm for these new resources, as well as our monthly market updates, educational webinars, innovator demo days, and more. We hope they’ve supported your efforts to fight food waste, and we have more on the way in 2022 – see below for some of what’s in store.

Happy holidays!

Dana Gunders
Executive Director
Here’s what you’ll find in this edition of the ReFED Quarterly. Short for time? Skip ahead to any section below:
ReFED in Action
2022 Food Waste Forecast
From local government policy to multinational business initiatives, ReFED’s Food Waste Forecast outlines what trends to expect in the coming year in the global effort to end food waste. Here's an at-a-glance look at what we're looking forward to:
  1. Businesses will step up to deliver on their food waste commitments. From retailers to grocers, many are recognizing that curbing food waste is good for the planet and good for business. 
  2. Food waste will become one of the most important ways to invest in climate change solutions  — and the deals for funding will keep getting bigger.

  3. The intrinsic link between food waste and climate will become clearer and inspire new global efforts.

  4. Government is getting on board with an increase of federal, state, and local food waste policies taking shape. 

  5. More businesses are starting to measure food waste as the first step to adopting solutions to reduce it – they realize that they can’t manage what they don’t measure.
Learn More
Food Waste Funder Circle – Helping to Close the Food Waste Funding Gap
The Food Waste Funder Circle (FWFC) is a new network designed for private, public, and philanthropic funders interested in using their capital to solve food waste challenges. Co-founded by ReFED and Upcycled Food Association, the FWFC offers a curated platform for funder education, collaboration, and investment to help drive the capital flow needed to reach national and international goals to reduce food waste by 50% by the year 2030.

Membership in the FWFC is free and open to both individual investors and representatives from funder organizations. You’ll get access to regular programming about investing in food waste innovations; deal flow reports and pitches from solution providers that are actively fundraising; opportunities to work with like-minded funders on industry challenges; and more – all designed to bridge the funding gap that exists at the intersection of food waste innovation and capital.

Become a Member
Announcing the Winners of the $1 Million Wonderful Innovation Challenge
BCD Bioscience and Enagon LLC were selected as winners of The Wonderful Company’s Wonderful Innovation Challenge. ReFED served as the Strategic Advisor and Managing Partner for this inaugural Challenge, a global contest designed to reduce food waste by developing pilot-ready solutions to turn the 50,000 tons of pomegranate husks generated each year by The Wonderful Company into a value-added resource. 

The two winners were selected out of nearly 400 applicants from all over the globe and across the innovation spectrum with solutions ranging from sustainable textiles and bioplastics to alternative meat and bioenergy. 

Learn More
EPA Makes a Significant Change to its Definition of “Food Waste”
Last month, EPA announced its reinterpretation of the 2030 Food Loss and Waste Reduction goal. The goal was originally developed in 2015 in partnership with USDA, with the aim of cutting US food loss and waste in half by 2030. While this goal remains the same, a revised 2016 (updated from 2010) baseline now includes any food leaving the human supply chain – which will be measured as any food going to landfill, combustion, sewer, anaerobic digestion, composting, or land application.

Now, food scraps going to compost and anaerobic digestion are counted as part of the total that needs to be cut in half, whereas before they helped to achieve the 50% diversion goal. Similarly, food scraps going to sewer or land application are now counted towards the food waste total, whereas before they weren’t.

What does this change mean? ReFED's Climate Fellow, Minnie Ringland, explains below. 
Learn More
Ways to Engage with ReFED in 2022
Here's a Sneak Peak at the Preliminary Schedule!
The Food Waste Solutions Summit is approaching fast, and we’re excited to share a first look at the session schedule with you:
See Schedule

Organized around the key action areas and solutions from ReFED's Roadmap to 2030, the Summit features mainstage presentations and panels, breakout sessions, networking events, field trips (spaces for these are going fast!), special activities, and more – all designed to drive progress on our collective 2030 goal of a 50% reduction in food waste.

So join us in Minneapolis next spring for three days of insights, innovation, and action! Get a special “early-bird” discounted rate through January 31. Reserve your spot now before the fee increases.

Register Now
Get Access to Dedicated Food Waste Programming and Benefits by Joining ReFED’s Food Waste Action Network

If you haven’t already joined the ReFED Food Waste Action Network (FWAN), you don't know what you're missing! ReFED launched the FWAN in June of this year and has already hosted a range of insightful events covering topics like food waste policy and COVID-19 impacts on food rescue, along with innovation demo days, individualized demos on Insights Engine tools, and more. In our end-of-year survey, members have reported that they are learning new information and walking away with action steps and new connections to help their work. We're looking forward to building on this momentum by kicking off 2022 with some exciting events and programming – be sure to sign up so you don’t miss out!

Become a Member
To see and get connected with other FWAN members, as well as learn about Partner Events & Opportunities, visit the ReFED Food Waste Action Network webpage

Coming in 2022: The ReFED Food Waste Capital Tracker

The Food Waste Capital Tracker is a new Insights Engine tool that provides data and details on food waste investments, allowing both funders and investment recipients to understand the landscape, identify key players, and plan out their funding strategies. This is the first time that this type of data has been aggregated, analyzed, and presented in a flexible format offering a range of user-selected views. It will be a major advance for the field and will facilitate additional investment in the space. We’ll also be releasing aggregated information showing the amount of food waste investment over the last ten years.

Employee Spotlight
Meet Minnie – ReFED's Climate Fellow 
ReFED Insights Engine –
Your Source for Data & Solutions on Food Waste

Understand the food waste problem, explore solutions, and more with the tools and resources in ReFED’s Insights Engine

  1. Food Waste Monitor: Find out how much food is being wasted in the US, learn why it's happening, and see where it goes.

  2. Solutions Database: Learn which food waste reduction solutions are the most relevant and impactful for meeting specific goals.

  3. Solution Provider Directory: Explore our database of 920+ organizations offering products and services to help you reduce food waste.

  4. Impact Calculator: Quantify the climate, natural resource, and food security impacts of wasted food.

Launch Insights Engine
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