Denver — The Upcycled Food Association (UAF) has started the process to formally define “upcycled food,” with the goal of outlining the term and setting up a certification program to launch this fall, the organization reports.
Established in October 2019, UAF was founded to reduce waste by supporting companies that use otherwise wasted food to make high-quality products, the association reports.
Food waste movement leader and UFA CEO Turner Wyatt says: “Reducing food waste is the third most important thing we can do to help the environment, and it also happens to be great business. Upcycled food will soon be a ubiquitous part of a more sustainable, abundant food system. We’re building a food system in which all food goes to its highest and best use.”
UAF reports 60 percent of shoppers are looking to buy more products with upcycled ingredients. The market, which is currently worth $45 billion, is expected to surpass more than $70 billion in sales during the coming decade.
“For the past 7 years we have focused on making a dent in the number of bananas wasted each year,” says Matt Cliford, co-founder of UFA member company Barnana. “The somber reality is 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted annually, enough to feed the entire population of India and China. The enormity of food waste is bigger than any one brand and the Upcycled Food Association will help channel our collective efforts to make lasting change.”
While the organization is still relatively new, its member companies have been making waves on the upcycled front. For example, member TBJ Gourmet, makers of Bacon Jam, prevented 80,000 pounds of pork from going to waste during 2019 and expects to double that amount this year, according to company CEO Mike Orachewsky.
“We see food waste as the number one issue in our industry. It is an issue without a single cause or single solution. There are a lot of like-minded companies coming at this problem from innovative angles. Coming together, we can learn from each other, lean on each other and, through thoughtful collaboration, lead the industry to a more sustainable future. That’s why the Upcycled Food Association made sense for us, that’s why we are proud to be a founding member,” says Orachewsky.