New numbers show the impact of the Upcycled Certified program on food waste prevention is much higher than originally anticipated. The 141 products and ingredients that have achieved the rigorous certification project to prevent more than 703 million pounds of food waste annually.
“Upcycled Certified has been even more successful than we imagined,” said Turner Wyatt, CEO of Upcycled Food Association. “The products and ingredients that have gone through the certification thus far span food, cosmetics, personal care, pet food and are created by both small startups and global legacy brands. This represents a major shift in our consumer product and retail environments because for the first time, consumers can help to prevent food waste every time they walk into a grocery store.”
According to Project Drawdown, preventing food waste is the most effective solution to global warming. Upcycled products contain food that would have otherwise not gone to human consumption, according to a formal definition of the term co-authored by Harvard Law School, World Wildlife Fund, UFA and others in 2020. The growth of the upcycled food movement parallels an uptick in consumer interest in sustainability and more eco-conscious food brands. According to a 2021 Study on Food Waste by Mattson, more than half of consumers are more likely to buy after seeing the Upcycled Certified mark on pack.
“Not only is Upcycled Certified a critical way for this burgeoning industry to track it’s impact,” said Eva Goulbourne, food waste expert and Board President of Upcycled Food Foundation, “it’s also an effective way to educate an increasingly values-driven consumer base about the solvable problem of wasted food. Even better, it offers them an immediate and tangible solution when they purchase Upcycled Certified products.”
UFA is launching a series of commercials to promote Upcycled Certified products in 2022 and the first products with the Upcycled Certified mark on packaging can be found on store shelves now.
Upcycled Certified is administered by a third party certification body, Where Food Comes From, which ensures that every Upcycled Certified product and ingredient meets the rigorous Upcycled Certification Standard. A full list of products can be found here.