NCC this week supported a letter led by U.S. Senators Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS), Senate Agriculture Ranking Member John Boozman (R-AR), Senate Agriculture Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Michael Bennet (R-CO), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Alex Padilla (D-CA), and Tina Smith (D-MN) on the omission of the important role of rendering in the administration’s recently announced strategy on food waste.

“The exclusion of rendering from the Draft Strategy is out of step with the Administration’s mission of supporting a comprehensive approach to mitigating food waste, as well as past recycling efforts promoted by the federal government,” Sen. Marshall said in a press release. “As an industry that has been around for over a century, rendering is further proof that American agriculture has always led the way on practical sustainability. Inclusion of rendering in the draft strategy ensures that everyone along the livestock production supply chain is not left out of sustainability initiatives and incentives.”

The Biden administration in December 2023 released a draft National Strategy to Reduce Food Loss and Waste, “as part of President Biden’s whole-of-government approach to tackle climate change and promote a circular economy.” However, the strategy made no mention of the role of rendering in the reduction of food loss and waste.

“As stated in the Strategy, ‘…EPA, USDA, and FDA seek to highlight opportunities to use raw materials more efficiently, enable those resources to be used for their highest value, and recover valuable resources from discarded materials,'” the letter said.

“This is exactly rendering’s role. However, we are concerned that this draft strategy, with rendering omitted, will not accelerate progress towards the 2015 national goal to reduce food loss and waste by 50% by 2030. Instead, the strategy will only serve to incentivize other recycling technologies at the expense of the rendering industry. Moving a supply stream from one organic recycler to another should not be counted as progress towards our goals. Instead, progress must be measured employing sound science and using all appropriate tools at our disposal. If the agencies believe there are research or data gaps on the role of rendering in food waste reduction, the national strategy presents the perfect opportunity to explore and fill these deficiencies for the sake of reaching our national goal by 2030.”

The full letter can be found here and the Biden administration’s strategy announcement can be found here.