At the 2022 Food Waste Solutions Summit in Minneapolis, Minnesota, presented by the nonprofit ReFED, panelists discussed the private sector’s role in food waste reduction—and the urgency of creating change.

“I look at the food system right now, and I am in awe at what it accomplishes, but at the same time, very afraid of the next few years ahead,” says Marc Zornes, Co-Founder of food technology company Winnow.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization Food Price Index reached a record high in 2022, and experts predict this could lead to global food shortages in the coming years, as restricted fertilizer access may result in lower yields. Zornes notes that the impact of higher food prices will be felt by all, but especially those with lower incomes.

“Now is a moment for us to get really serious about fixing part of our food supply chain. We need to make moves quickly, because the clock is ticking, and the impacts of it are not just on sustainability—it’s literally about our daily bread,” says Zornes.

Winnow’s industry data shows that, on average, between 5 and 15 percent of all food purchased by commercial kitchens gets thrown away. Especially in the hospitality industry, this waste disproportionately impacts developing countries in the Global South without the space or infrastructure to properly process it.

“A lot of places are still struggling with the ability to have even just well-managed landfill facilities. We still see, in some places, uncontained landfills that are burning waste every single day,” says Megan Morikawa, Global Director of Sustainability at Iberostar.

Read the full article about food waste solutions by Emily Payne at Food Tank.