Written by Dominique Trudelle, current student in the Food Law and Policy Clinic.
As a Continuing Clinical student in the Food Law and Policy Clinic this semester, I spent two days at the North American Workshop on Food Waste Reduction and Recovery in Toronto, Canada. Since starting the clinic in January, I have been learning about and working on FLPC’s food waste and food recovery initiatives. Specifically, I helped to finalize a recent report produced in partnership with NRDC, Don’t Waste, Donate: Enhancing Food Donation through Federal Policy, detailing how the federal government can better align federal laws and policies with the goal of increasing donations of safe, surplus food to those in need. Through this work, I have learned about improving liability protections and tax incentives for food donation, as well as ways to support innovative food recovery models. At the Workshop, interacting with other organizations highlighted how each approaches tracking, reducing, and recovering food waste.
The Workshop brought together experts working in government, industry, business and academia from Canada, the United States, and Mexico to discuss opportunities to reduce food waste across the food supply chain in each country. The Workshop included a mix of short presentations about topics ranging from donation of surplus foods by retailers, tracking food waste, and liability protections for food donations in the U.S. by retailers, innovative food recovery organizations, and academics. These presentations were followed by roundtable discussions. Having focused primarily on food recovery, I appreciated the opportunity to discuss food waste reduction with others whose perspective and strategies differ from those I have focused on during my clinic.