Food System Leaders Gather in Baltimore for Annual Food Waste Solutions Summit


Food System Leaders Gather in Baltimore for Annual Food Waste Solutions Summit

June 10, 2024

ReFED, the national nonprofit organization working to catalyze the food system to take evidence-based action to stop wasting food, kicks off its 2024 ReFED Food Waste Solutions Summit today in Baltimore. Bringing stakeholders from across the globe together to drive the adoption of food waste solutions and find opportunities to collaborate, the Summit features three days of insights, innovation, and action—from mainstage and breakout sessions to networking events, solutions showcases, field trips, workshops, and more.

In 2022, 235 million tons of food produced in the United States—38%—went unsold or uneaten. That’s almost 145 billion meals’ worth of food, nearly 2% of U.S. GDP. Beyond the economic and social consequences, food waste is also a key driver of climate change, generating 6.1% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions; it also uses 22% of fresh water resources and 16% of U.S. cropland, and constitutes 24% of landfill inputs—making it the number one material entering landfills by weight. The ReFED Summit’s goal is to drive action that will solve this problem by convening food businesses, funders, solution providers, policymakers, and more.

This year’s event—hosted in the sustainability-conscious harbor city of Baltimore—features speakers, presenters, and panelists from all parts of the food community, nine field trips to local businesses addressing the issue, an exhibit hall, and a host of networking opportunities. Several post-conference workshops and pre-conference activities—from documentaries to trivia night to a special international showcase—are also on this year’s schedule, engaging attendees in more interactive ways.

“The ReFED Food Waste Solutions Summit is a place for people from across the food system to come together and share ideas,” said Dana Gunders, Executive Director of ReFED. “Waste-generating businesses are able to find solution providers to partner with. Innovators that are trying to scale their solutions are able to talk to funders. Community organizers are able to discuss what’s worked and what hasn’t with policymakers. Organizations looking for support are able to find it in coalitions and partnerships. It’s the one place and one time a year where everyone can be in the same room and take action.”

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack will open the sessions on Wednesday with a special keynote address, followed by a one-on-one chat with Dana Gunders about the role of policy in driving food waste action. After this kick-off, sessions will address the key issues facing the food community right now—from the role of A.I. in the food waste movement to the impact that food waste has on the generation of methane to a special look into seafood sustainability, the sessions speak to all corners of the food system, highlighting waste reduction’s role in making it more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive.

The 2024 ReFED Food Waste Solutions Summit is made possible with the generous support of a range of sponsors, including food businesses, solution providers, and corporate and family foundations:


The Betsy and Jesse Fink Family Foundation

Byrne and Pamela Murphy Family Foundation


Lineage Foundation for Good

Plus Brand


Amazon Fresh



Northstar Recycling

Posner Foundation of Pittsburgh

The Tepper Foundation

The Wonderful Company



Compass Group

Foodcycle Science

Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue

Trane Technologies



The Betsy and Jesse Fink Family Foundation


Plus Brand

ReFED is recording key sessions from the Summit and will make them available to the general public later this summer.

ReFED is a national nonprofit working to end food loss and waste across the food system by advancing data-driven solutions to the problem. ReFED leverages data and insights to highlight supply chain inefficiencies and economic opportunities; mobilizes and connects people to take targeted action; and catalyzes capital to spur innovation and scale high-impact initiatives. ReFED’s goal is a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive food system that optimizes environmental resources, minimizes climate impacts, and makes the best use of the food we grow.

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