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3 Powerful Lessons We Learned By Eliminating Food Waste

Baldor Editors Dec 27 , 2016

So, guys, we did it!  As of December 2016, Baldor Specialty Foods is 100% organic waste free.   When we embarked on this journey a year ago, we expected our energy waste reduction plan to translate into immediate success.   We were so buoyed by your enthusiasm, that we kind of thought success was guaranteed.  Oh, but what a challenging journey this was…

 First, we failed to anticipate the lack of infrastructure surrounding landfill alternatives.  We had no idea how much the system was designed for garbage.  Next, we were not aware of how our own operations relied on efficiencies created by the trash pile.  We didn’t fully understand how various stakeholders at Baldor might rightfully view our waste-reduction plans from very different perspectives. 

In short, it was challenging.  On the road to a food waste-free operation, we learned three lessons that kept us going even when our goal felt out of reach.

 

 1.   Make Friends

If we had not connected with partners like Misfit Juicery early on, we would have found it difficult to be successful. So many of the ideas that we pursued and resources we relied on came from the community of people fighting against food waste. Our most recent venture is a collaboration with Haven’s Kitchen on a line of sauces and soups that incorporate SparCs!

 2.   Think Critically

We started out with the incontrovertible belief that wasting food was bad.   But, it quickly became clear that we needed to relax the dogmatism to get buy-in from every department at Baldor.   Without understanding the relative efficiencies created by our former waste disposal procedures, it was impossible to locate a waste reduction solution that truly addressed our needs. This is always the case when creating a sustainability solution.

 3.   Be Patient

Things that are difficult take time.  Getting all stakeholders on board took time, and patience.  Often, we thought we had found the solution only to discover that it cost more than we could ever justify (hello, composting).  Ultimately, it was worth it to wait until we developed a system built for longevity and scale.

Want to learn more on how we eliminated food waste?  Find detailed information on our SparC initiative here.

 View our Today Show segment on SparCs here

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