New certification seeks to prevent food waste by encouraging manufacturers and consumers to choose upcycled products

By Murielle Gonzalez

Close-up Of A Person's Hand Stamping With Approved Stamp On Document At Desk

The Upcycled Food Association (UFA) has released a draft of the Upcycled Certification Standard for comment. The document is the work of a committee of international experts in sustainability, agriculture, food systems, nutrition, food purchasing, and retail. 

UFA’s Ben Gray, co-chair of the Certification Standards Committee, said: “The committee has worked diligently to develop a standard that helps showcase the impact of the upcycled food industry, increase the visibility and demand for upcycled products, and allow more consumers to participate in this innovative approach to tackling climate change.”

The upcycled certification standard seeks to prevent food waste by encouraging more products to utilise upcycled ingredients and educating consumers on the impact of those products. 

The importance of making sure all food goes to its highest and best use has become evident – Project Drawdown cites addressing food waste as the most effective solution to climate change. 

Upcycled certification standard

The certification has been designed to help consumers actively participate in the solution by allowing them to purchase products that contain upcycled ingredients in every aisle of the grocery store. 

It will also raise the profile of the upcycled foods, with the industry aiming to reduce food waste by 20 million pounds next year.

“It is a great milestone to be able to share this first draft of a pioneering certification for upcycled food,” said Francesca Goodman-Smith, Waste Minimisation Manager for Foodstuffs NZ, and co-chair of the Certification Standards Committee. “Working with an amazing team of experts UFA brought together to design the standard has been a highlight of 2020.” 

The UFA is asking consumers, retailers, producers, growers, policy experts, and anyone who cares about preventing food waste by growing the upcycled food economy to provide feedback before 4 December.

Market potential

UFA estimates there are already more than 400 upcycled products in the US marketplace. A report by Future Market Insights revealed the value of the upcycled food industry is deemed to be more than $46 billion, with a predicted 5% compound annual growth rate. 

Notable groups, such as Whole Foods Market believe upcycled food to be a significant food trend and multiple recent studies have shown more than half of consumers want to purchase more upcycled food products. 

Jaclyn Bowen, clean label project executive director and co-chair of the Certification Standards Committee, said: “Feedback from industry, academia, and consumer and environmental advocacy groups is essential to making sure that the standard is representative of the industry practices, protective of the environment and worthy of consumer trust and confidence.” 

To read the draft and provide feedback, visit the UFA via this link: https://www.upcycledfood.org/certification-standard 

Date published: 25 October 2020

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