Washington, D.C. — May 8, 2018 — Today, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue invited 2 members of Congress and 11 representatives from industry, nonprofit, and academia to discuss innovative solutions that address the United States’ $218 billion food waste problem. Spoiler Alert CEO Ricky Ashenfelter was among those invited to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s offices in Washington, D.C. He used the opportunity to share an entrepreneur’s perspective, as the only representative from a for-profit technology solution provider at the roundtable.
“We believe that technology and supply chain innovation will play critical roles in getting more healthy, wholesome excess food to market while unlocking greater collaboration between farmers, food businesses, and consumers,” said Ashenfelter. “I shared with Secretary Perdue that the USDA’s support of market- and policy-based solutions that foster the adoption of emerging technologies, are supported by data, and aligned to innovative business models can be a force for good while generating significant economic value for all those involved.”
In addition to Secretary Perdue, the meeting was attended by Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Congressman David Young (R-IA), who just last week co-launched the House Food Waste Caucus, which will look at ways to promote food waste reduction across the supply chain as well as help educate lawmakers on opportunities to support waste reduction. Spoiler Alert is working with the Greater Portland Council of Governments as part of a USDA grant to improve the local Maine food economy in Rep. Pingree’s home state.
Following the roundtable, Secretary Perdue issued the following statement: “Our nation's agricultural abundance should be used to nourish those in need, not fill the trash. So many people work on food waste issues in their own spheres, but it's time to change the culture and adopt a holistic approach to get everyone working together and sharing ideas. I commend Reps. Pingree and Young for addressing this issue on Capitol Hill and for their desire to find collaborative, commonsense solutions. USDA remains committed to helping reduce food waste, and we are excited to work with all stakeholders from farm to fork to further elevate this effort and fulfill our motto, to 'Do right and feed everyone.'''
Additional roundtable attendees included Sodexo, YUM! Brands, Feeding America, the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, American Farm Bureau Federation, Food Recovery Network, National Consumers League, Reinford Farms, Atlanta Community Food Bank, and World Resources Institute.
“We look forward to continuing the dialogue with Secretary Perdue and his team at the USDA, and we are eager to collaborate with the stakeholders convened today,” notes Ashenfelter.
About Spoiler Alert
Spoiler Alert is a Boston-based technology company that helps food businesses manage unsold inventory. Spoiler Alert works with operators of food distribution centers and partners with companies like Sysco and HelloFresh through a software and services model that enables item-level tracking and reporting of food recovery and waste diversion activities, while facilitating food donations, discounted sales and organics recycling to local, regional, and national networks of outlets. For more information, visit www.spoileralert.com.
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