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AmplifiedAg and Vertical Roots Commit to Reduce Food Waste over 50% in less than 5 years

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An estimated one-third of food in the world meant for human consumption is wasted or lost. If that food waste and loss was a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, behind the U.S. and China. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and global coalitions have called for immediate action to halve global food waste and loss by 2030.

As sustainably-driven indoor farming companies, AmplifiedAg, Inc. and Vertical Roots have joined these international efforts and established an aggressive commitment to reduce company food loss and waste over 50% by 2025 with the goal to be food waste and loss free by 2030.

Vertical Roots is the largest hydroponic container farm in the country growing fresh, nutritious, pesticide-free leafy greens available in 1,200 major retailers across the Southeast. Parent company AmplifiedAg manufactures the indoor farms, software and technologies that operate Vertical Roots farm production, as well as other indoor farms across the country.

Guided by the UN, EPA Food Waste Recovery Challenge, ReFED, and Stop Food Waste Day, AmplifiedAg and Vertical Roots plan to divert food waste at the source by enhancing current company processes:

  • Prevent food waste: optimize produce from every harvest and maximize process efficiency
  • Food Rescue: donate safe food to food rescue organizations serving people in need, and other lettuce to animal farms
  • Composting: strengthen responsible disposal strategy by composting all waste that cannot be donated to people or animals

AmplifiedAg headquarters in Charleston, which operates Vertical Roots first farmsite and R&D center, established a sustainability program that has diverted almost 100% of food waste from landfills. The success of this program will be used as a platform to implement at Vertical Roots farmsite in Columbia, SC and future farms that will begin production later this year.

“As leaders in indoor farming, we find it imperative to share our food waste pledge and journey to inspire other leaders in agriculture and retail to do the same, and also raise awareness about this global issue among consumers,” said AmplifiedAg CEO Don Taylor.

An estimated 83% of food loss and waste happens once the food enters the marketplace, with 40% from retailers and 43% from consumers. Plus, the average American family of four throws away about $1,700 worth of food per year.

To inspire consumers to do their part, Vertical Roots is kicking off a #wastenolettuce awareness campaign. Every month, Vertical Roots will partner with chefs, influencers and enthusiastic food waste champions to share food waste reducing tips and recipes. Follow Vertical Roots on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for #wastenolettuce tips, kicking off on Stop Food Waste Day, April 28.

“When you look at the numbers, food waste and waste in general can feel like an overwhelming problem to tackle. But if we all make efforts to reduce our waste, we can create a sustainable shift for the future of our planet,” said Andrew Hare, co-founder and general manager of Vertical Roots.

Vertical Roots partners with Harvest Hope Food Bank, Lowcountry Food Bank, Fields to Families and several food rescue programs and food pantries to donate fresh produce to people in need; SMART Recycling and Atlas Organics for composting; and Doko Farms, R&R Acres, and several other areas farms that feed pigs, chickens, rabbits and even turtles.

Food waste is just one of the companies’ sustainability goals. AmplifiedAg and Vertical Roots are also hyper-focused on benchmarking goals for circular packaging that is 100% recyclable, water consumption reduction, and overall emission reduction.

All statistics are cited from ReFED, https://refed.com/food-waste/the-challenge/#overview.

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