The Upcycled Food Association (UFA) announces the adoption of the Upcycled Certification Standard, a major step towards helping consumers better identify products that help prevent food waste. The Standard will inform the Upcycled Certification Program, a third-party certification program due to launch in the coming months that will help grow the upcycled food industry.
"The Upcycled Certification Standard is an inspiring and hopeful milestone. It lays the groundwork for the 21st-century food system we so desperately need—a system that does more with less; that recognizes resource-efficient brands; and that empowers producers, businesses and consumers to solve food waste together. Formulated through painstaking, meticulous deliberation by a diverse body of stakeholders, this Standard shows that scalable solutions are achievable with the right level of urgency, commitment and collaboration,” said Sandra Noonan, standards committee member and chief sustainability officer at Just Salad.
Eight months ago UFA selected a diverse team of exceptional individuals from across the food supply chain to develop the first version of the Upcycled Certification Standard. This first iteration of the Standard aims to set a robust and credible framework for the certification of both upcycled ingredients and products, whilst reflecting the current capacity and capability of the industry.
“Fulfilling the great potential of upcycled food movement requires a continued collaborative effort and this Standard is representative of the rigor necessary to answer that charge,” said Ben Gray, standards committee co-chair and chief operating officer of the UFA. The goal is to create a certification that will act as the pioneering consumer-facing Mark to identify upcycled products. The Standard also sets a bar for industry alignment, helping to grow the upcycled food economy while further preventing food waste.
"It was an absolute pleasure to work with such a knowledgeable and diverse team of experts to define an entirely new food product category, '' said Dr. Edward Spang, standards committee member and professor at University of California, Davis. “Growing consumer awareness and demand for upcycled food has the potential to reduce environmental harm, increase business opportunities, and unleash culinary creativity. An exciting future awaits!”
UFA estimates there are already over 400 upcycled products in the US marketplace and in 2019, Future Market Insights produced a report estimating the value of the upcycled food industry to be more than $46 billion, with a predicted 5% compound annual growth rate. The Upcycled Certification Standard seeks to increase this growth rate by educating consumers. Whole Foods Market recently named upcycled food a top trend for 2021 and multiple recent studies have shown more than half of consumers want to purchase more upcycled products.
"Working with world-leading experts on a Standard with the potential to change our entire food system and shift the dial on food waste reduction has been one of the most rewarding projects to be involved with,” said Francesca Goodman-Smith, standards committee co-chair and waste minimization manager at Foodstuffs NZ.
Rollout of the Certification will begin initially in the US, with the intention of expanding internationally, reflecting the global nature of the upcycled food sector. Now that the certification Standard has been adopted, UFA is poised to launch its Beta Program—a pilot initiative for the rollout of the new certification program administered by an independent certifying body. The Beta Program will begin accepting applications in the coming weeks.
Source: Upcycled Food Association