Biowaste : ReFED and Upcycled Food Association launch food waste funder circle

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ReFED and Upcycled Food Association – leading national nonprofits working to reduce food loss and waste across the food system and attract more investment to the space – have launched the first-ever Food Waste Funder Circle. A dedicated network to support private, public, and philanthropic funders who want to use their capital to scale a full range of solutions to food waste, the Food Waste Funder Circle offers a curated platform for education, collaboration, and investment to close the gap in capital needed to reach the national goal to reduce food waste by 50% by the year 2030.

Reducing food waste offers environmental, social, and economic benefits. It is a top climate change solution, cutting greenhouse gas emissions – including methane – and conserving natural resources. It also supports hunger relief for the more than 40 million Americans struggling with food insecurity. And it comes with a significant financial benefit. ReFED estimates that an annual investment of $14 billion over the next ten years can not only reduce food waste by more than 50% each year, but also result in an annual net financial benefit of $73 billion – a five-to-one return – as well as create tens of thousands of jobs.

“Capital providers across the funding spectrum are critical to catalyzing innovation and driving adoption of food waste reduction solutions,” said Alexandria Coari, Vice President of Capital, Innovation, & Engagement, ReFED. “There’s so much opportunity in the food waste space right now, and to keep building on that, it’s more important than ever to make sure that funders have the information they need to make smart investment decisions and have access to a network of fundable initiatives and partners ready to collaborate.”

“We’re excited to help launch this first-of-its-kind network to accelerate the flow of capital needed to fight food waste,” said Turner Wyatt, Chief Executive Officer, Upcycled Food Association. “There’s loss and waste at every stage of the food supply chain, so we need a full range of solutions – including upcycling – to fight it. The Food Waste Funder Circle is a way to connect capital providers to all the potential that the food waste space has to offer.” Wyatt added that in the last 12 months, the Members of Upcycled Food Association have raised at least $203 million.

Membership in the Food Waste Funder Circle is free ​​and open to both individual investors and representatives from funder organizations. Current members include Closed Loop Partners, The Kroger Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation, Crown Family Philanthropies, Circulate Capital, Trailhead Capital, Green Circle Capital, and more. Member benefits include:

Market update newsletters highlighting industry news and events;

A monthly deal flow report listing active investment opportunities in the sector;

Quarterly educational events with like-minded funders from across the capital spectrum;

Access to bi-weekly pitch events, as well as a repository of recorded pitch events and company profiles;

Opportunities to participate in bespoke “deep dives” on particular issues through special working groups; and

Access to dedicated “office hour” sessions with ReFED and/or its program partners.

Effective action against food waste requires a smart matching of capital type with the appropriate opportunity, and in many cases, multiple types of capital are required to fund food waste reduction solutions from conception to adoption. The Food Waste Funder Circle was designed to help its members understand the food waste reduction landscape, explore investment opportunities, and find partners for collaboration – ultimately bridging the funding gap that exists at the intersection of food waste innovation and capital.