The United Nations believes that $ 400 billion worth of food is wasted even before being delivered to the store. Upcycling as a concept now has a formal program for the definition and certification of the ingredients and products offered by the Recycled Food Association.
While still a niche concept, food waste recycling is gaining traction as brands reuse food that would otherwise be wasted on new ingredients and products.
“Consumers are increasingly aware of sustainability and their own purchasing power. They “are looking for new ways to engage in sustainable practices and are willing to try new things to do so” says Kelly Landrieu, global coordinator of local brands at Whole Foods Market, who predicts that recycled foods will gain in prevalence in 2021.
The world’s first brand certifying recycled food in products gives consumers an essential tool to fight climate change through purchasing power. The Upcycled Food Association has opened registration for its Upcycled certification program, which represents the culmination of over a year of work with a myriad of stakeholders committed to reducing food waste by developing new markets and opportunities for all parties involved in food products.
The third-party certified program establishes a rigorous set of rules setting definitions for recycled ingredients and products, providing a framework for companies to create and communicate the impact of recycled food. Approved products and ingredients will be allowed to use the powerful new Upcycled Certified consumer brand.
There are three types of certifications:
- Ingredient: Upcycled ingredient (IU) that consists of more than 95% upcycled uniform inputs by weight.
- Product: Product containing recycled ingredients (PUI) made up of more than 10% of certified recycled ingredients by weight or threshold reached for the total tonnage diverted.
- Minimum content: Products with a minimum content of recycled ingredients (lower than the PUI) made up of less than 10% recycled ingredients or the total tonnage diverted.
The program invites participation from companies that grow, produce, manufacture, process and market food and beverages, dietary supplements, pet foods, cosmetics, personal care products and household cleaners.