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Where Food Comes From Acquisition of Upcycled Certified Program: A Strategic Step Towards Reducing Food Waste

In a move that signals a growing commitment to sustainability in the food industry, Where Food Comes From has acquired the Upcycled Certified® Program from the Upcycled Food Association. This acquisition is particularly noteworthy in the context of alarming statistics on food waste and its environmental impact.

According to Project Drawdown, reducing food waste is the most effective solution to lessen the need for land and resources in food production and to decrease the associated greenhouse gas emissions. In the United States, an estimated 40% of all food produced annually remains unsold or uneaten. ReFED, a prominent food waste research organization, puts the quantity of wasted food in the U.S. at around 80 million tons per year, translating to a staggering financial loss of $310 billion.

The Upcycled Certified Program, the world's first and largest certification for upcycled food, has emerged as a significant player in addressing this issue. With more than 93 companies and over 480 products certified, including major Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies like Del Monte and Kerry Ingredients, the program has been instrumental in diverting approximately 390,000 tons of food waste annually since its launch.

This acquisition comes at a time when consumer interest in sustainable products is surging. Data from retail insights firm SPINs show that 51% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product identified as Upcycled Certified. John Saunders, chairman and CEO of Where Food Comes From, highlighted the alignment of the upcycled food movement with broader sustainability trends in the U.S. and globally. The company, as the exclusive certification body for the standard since early 2021, aims to expand the offering of upcycled products and make it easier for consumers to participate in the food waste solution.

Upcycled products in the U.S. market span a wide range, including food and beverages, dietary supplements, pet food, cosmetics, personal care products, and household cleaners. The value of the upcycled food industry, as estimated by a Future Market Insights report, exceeds $46 billion and is on an upward trajectory.

The significance of Where Food Comes From acquisition of the Upcycled Certified Program extends beyond the immediate business implications. It represents a crucial step in transforming our food system into one where food is valued and never wasted. With the increasing demands on natural resources and growing food insecurity, solutions like upcycling are essential for a sustainable future.

This strategic acquisition by Where Food Comes From is not just a business transaction; it's a commitment to a sustainable food future. It underscores the importance of innovative solutions in addressing global food waste and sets a precedent for other companies in the industry to follow.


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