- Food Cowboy—a startup that uses routing technology to connect food scraps with end users—has launched two initiatives to help fund food waste solutions: No Waste Promise Alliance and Food Waste Innovation Fund.
- Starting this fall, companies that use Food Cowboy to donate inventory will pay a commission on tax benefits for which they qualify. Food Cowboy hopes to raise $75 million through this effort.
- $50 million will be invested in the Food Cowboy Foundation to boost the operations of food banks, while $25 million will be invested in waste-reducing solutions and technologies.
Food Cowboy is looking to leverage tax benefits as a strategy for financing its Food Waste Innovation Fund. According to a press release from the company, Congress recently granted the food industry $6 billion in bonus tax deductions as a way to increase food donations. While the deductions generally go unused, Food Cowboy has found a way to tap into this resource.
"The scale of the food waste problem in America is enormous," said Food Cowboy co-founder Barbara Cohen in a press statement. "Meaningful change won’t happen until charities have the right tools and we develop more market-based solutions."
Tackling food waste isn't just beneficial for the environment. Food manufacturing companies can also benefit from such efforts, as reducing food waste can boost profits and consumer loyalty.
"Of all of the challenges facing our food system, food waste is one where everybody agrees," said Eric Kessler, senior managing director of Arabella Advisors' Good Food Practice, to Food Dive. "There's nothing contentious about this. There are debates on how best to proceed, how best to get it done, but it's in everybody's interest to reduce food waste."