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26 April 2021
Alongside labels like certified organic, vegan and gluten-free, consumers in the US will soon be able to choose products based on a new label: Upcycled Certified. Introduced last week by the Colorado-based Upcycled Food Association, the label will be added to products that are certifiably manufactured with food that otherwise wouldn't have been used for human consumption. It's the world's first identifier that certifies upcycled food in products. Not just in food and beverage, but also in cosmetics, pet food, personal care products, household cleaners and dietary supplements.
Roughly a third of the food that's produced is never eaten, and that wasted food is responsible for an estimated 8% of global carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions. Much of the waste takes place higher up in the supply chain — before it reaches households — and this is where upcycling brands aim to make a difference, for example by turning unused coffee berries into natural energy drinks, or leftover bread into vodka.
While some might scoff at yet another label, it's a useful tool to educate consumers and empower them to use their purchasing power to reduce food waste. The Upcycled Certified symbol will start appearing on products in the US in August 2021.
Photo by Lucian Alexe