2022 Food Waste Solutions Summit

May 10-12, 2022 | Minneapolis, MN

Summit Schedule

We're using the key action areas and solutions from ReFED's "Roadmap to 2030" to create a selection of mainstage presentations and panels, breakout sessions, networking events, field trips, special activities, and more. Here's a look at what we have in store. (Schedule and speakers subject to change.)

10:00am - 6:30pm

Registration Opens

The Commons

1:00pm - 4:00pm

Field Trips Depart

McNamara Alumni Center | Oak Street Entrance

Field trips are intended to introduce Summit attendees to the local food system in Minneapolis and bring food waste and sustainability to life. Transportation and all costs are covered by ReFED. 

  • NETZRO
  • Target Field
  • Specialized Environmental Technologies (Consumer)
  • Campus Club
  • Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community ORF
  • Second Harvest Heartland
  • Minnesota Central Kitchen & Partners
  • Good Acre Farms
  • Buhler Food Application Center
  • Appetite for Change
4:00pm - 6:00pm

Pre-Summit Events: "Gather" Viewing

Heritage Gallery Room

Special screening of the film, Gather. Directed by Sanjay Rawal, Gather is an intimate portrait of the growing movement among Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political and cultural identities through food sovereignty, while battling the trauma of centuries of genocide.

Gather  follows Nephi Craig, a chef from the White Mountain Apache Nation (Arizona), opening an indigenous café as a nutritional recovery clinic; Elsie Dubray, a young scientist from the Cheyenne River Sioux Nation (South Dakota), conducting landmark studies on bison; and the Ancestral Guard, a group of environmental activists from the Yurok Nation (Northern California), trying to save the Klamath river.

4:00pm - 6:00pm

Pre-Summit Events: University Showcase

Thomas Swain Room

Drop in to learn about student, faculty and campus led programs and businesses that are working to fight food waste and create a more sustainable food system within Minneapolis and beyond. Participants will include:

  • TC Food Justice
  • Food Recovery Network
  • ReToast
  • West Bank Community Garden
  • Brightside Produce
  • Nutritious U Pantry
  • Hamline Food Resource Center 
4:00pm - 6:00pm

Pre-Summit Events: Out of Thyme | Food Waste Trivia

Johnson Great Room

Make lemons out of lemonade by testing your food waste knowledge at Trivia Night! Squeeze the moment, join a team, and do your best to answer questions about food waste solutions and impacts, ReFED, and our host city of Minneapolis - prizes will be awarded. We'll be hosting two 30-minute game rounds. 

6:00pm - 9:00pm

Welcome Reception hosted by Compass

Graduate Hotel | Pinnacle Ballroom

Enjoy passed hors d'oeuvres and drinks, including a drink from Spare Tonic using upcycled whey. 

8:00am - 7:00pm

Registration

The Commons

8:00am - 9:00am

Breakfast

Memorial Hall

9:00am - 10:30am

Welcome Day 1 & Mainstage Session 1 - From Global to Local: Fighting Food Waste Around the World

Memorial Hall

Welcome to the Summit! We'll start with a special Land Acknowledgment and then introduce you to all that the next two days have to offer.


How can we create a sustainable future through food waste reduction on a global, national, and local stage? Food waste is a systemwide and far-reaching problem that extends beyond the U.S. Featuring three fireside chats – on international food loss and waste protocols; U.S. food waste-related policy and strategy; and the Pacific Coast Food Waste Commitment regional initiative – this session will outline the progress being made around the world, and what new opportunities exist for collaborative action. 

 

Speakers

Vanessa Mukhebi

Dana Gunders

Nicola Dixon

Carolyn Hoskinson

Katie Pearmine

Dr. Richard Swannell

Pete Pearson

Suzanne Long

Sarah Munger

10:30am - 11:00am

Networking Break

Memorial Hall

11:00am - 12:00pm

Breakout Sessions (Running Concurrently)

Ski-U-Mah Room

Insights from the Field: Advances in Understanding Food Loss and Waste 

Developing solutions to food waste starts with a deep understanding of the problem. But food waste isn’t just one problem – it’s a lot of different problems depending on the sector. So where do we start? From on-farm measurement to consumer research, this session will take a deep-dive into new efforts to understand the food waste challenge, as well as shed light on important areas needing continued exploration. 

Speakers

Alexander Nichols-Vinueza

Dave Love

Kai Robertson

Sauleh Siddiqui

11:00am - 12:00pm

Breakout Sessions (Running Concurrently)

Thomas Swain Room

Financing the Race to Zero Waste: Trends in Investment (Presented by the Food Waste Funder Circle)
Investing in food waste reduction is an important climate change solution, but much more is needed to reach 2030 reduction goals. Presented by the Food Waste Funder Circle, this session will show how funders and innovators working together to develop and scale food waste solutions and explore the question of where your money can make the most impact.

Speakers

Alejandro Enamorado

Alexandria Coari

Ali Berman

Anna Hammond

Olivia Tabah

Thomas McQuillan

Turner Wyatt

11:00am - 12:00pm

Breakout Sessions (Running Concurrently)

Heritage Gallery Room

Setting the Table: How to Engage Consumers on Food Waste

What’s needed to shift our overall culture to place more value on food? Consumers generate more surplus food than any other sector, and while poor food management is a big cause, a portion of that waste occurs because of decisions made by other actors throughout the supply chain. Tune in as leaders across brands, local government and academia share the unique ways that they are leveraging their influence to reshape consumer environments and decrease waste.

Speakers

Eva Goulbourne

Benjamin Crook

Brian Roe

Carolyn Collopy

Madeline Rotman

11:00am - 12:00pm

Breakout Sessions (Running Concurrently)

Johnson Great Room

Turning Up the Heat: Tackling Food Waste to Fight Climate Change

The latest IPCC report is blunt – our planet is on track to reach at least 1.5°C of warming by 2050, under all emissions scenarios considered. But while climate change poses a looming threat to our existence, tackling it is achievable – and food waste is the low-hanging fruit. Beyond just mitigation, reducing food loss and waste is one of the few solutions that can improve adaptation to climate change. Hear from a panel of climate experts on why we must race to halve food waste by 2030 for the sake of our planet. ​​

Speakers

Katelyn Weisbrod

Elizabeth Guinessey

Dr. Jonathan Foley

Shashank Mohan

12:00pm - 1:30pm

Lunch & Special Programming

Buffet in Memorial Hall | Special Programming in Ski-U-Mah Room

Grab your lunch and join us for this session:
More Than a Solution for Surplus Food: An Interactive Deep-Dive on Designing for Equity, Justice, and Access in Food Systems (Special Presentation by ReFED) (Ski-U-Mah Room)

Our food systems are rooted in historical inequities that are still rampant today. We have an opportunity to rebuild them differently, but how can we design with those who are impacted, not for? While the primary conversation around food waste and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) has been addressing food insecurity with surplus food, there are many other intersections that go beyond using some of our most disempowered members of society as a home for surplus food — food that is great for everyone no matter their socio-demographic. Participate in this interactive discussion, led by ReFED team members, as they share insights from their research on the intersections of DEIJ and the food waste ecosystem. Ultimately, we aim to together cultivate sustainable resilient systems that nourish, rather than deprive.

Speakers

Lily Herd

Nyree Hall

Sarah Munger

Sophia Lenarz-Coy

Tony Hillery

1:30pm - 2:30pm

Breakout Sessions (Running Concurrently)

Johnson Great Room

Beyond COVID-19: Strengthening Food Rescue in a Post-Pandemic World

Food rescue has long been a vital part of redistributing surplus food that would otherwise go uneaten. Though COVID-19 placed stresses on food supply chains, food rescue efforts quickly adapted by developing innovative new models for recovery and distribution. Hear from vital players in this sector about what was done, what’s here to stay, how we can continue to improve – and whether we’re equipped to overcome another new challenge.

Speakers

Theresa Lieb

Dana Yost

Jennifer England

Robin Manthie

1:30pm - 2:30pm

Breakout Sessions (Running Concurrently)

Thomas Swain Room

Capital in Action: The Role of Catalytic Funding in Food Waste

ReFED’s analysis shows that $3B in catalytic capital is required each year to meet the goal of cutting food waste in half by 2030. What is catalytic capital, and why is it so important? This session will focus on the critical and creative role that catalytic capital plays in advancing food waste solutions, with commentary from a panel of funders on how they have deployed catalytic capital – and how it can be leveraged with other capital types to develop and scale food waste solutions.

Speakers

Caroline Vance

Bridget Croke

Ida Posner

Julia Fisher

1:30pm - 2:30pm

Breakout Sessions (Running Concurrently)

Heritage Gallery Room

Unwrapping Solutions: The Role of Packaging in Food Waste (Presented in partnership with Sustainable Packaging Coalition)

The right packaging is an important way to help consumers reduce food waste in their homes. So how are manufacturers rethinking packaging to prioritize food waste reduction? From dynamic shelf-life labels that monitor freshness to plant-based stickers that slow down ripening rates and minimize microbial growth, new solutions are emerging to both protect food and reduce food waste, while also cutting down on excessive packaging. This session will share insights and guidance from the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, as well as highlight brands and innovators leading the charge on redesigning packaging to reduce waste. 

Speakers

Claire Sand

Camille Herrera

Madeline Rotman

Olga Kachook

Walker Stockley

1:30pm - 2:30pm

Breakout Sessions (Running Concurrently)

Ski-U-Mah Room

The Power of Policy: Showcasing State and Local Policy Success Stories

From local composting regulations to state-level organics bans to the federal interagency “Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative,” policy is unique in its power to provide a spark that can move the food system to action – and throughout the last few years, a range of policies have been enacted to support efforts across the food system to cut the amount of food lost or wasted. Through Pecha Kucha-style presentations, spend time with leaders developing and influencing policy at all levels of government, as they share challenges, successes, and promising legislative and regulatory solutions from across the country.

Speakers

Ava Richardson

Caroline Howe

Colleen Hetzel

Jade Monroe

Todd Lawrence

Yvette Cabrera

2:30pm - 3:00pm

Networking Break

Memorial Hall

A Nogales Produce Rescue Short Film and Discussion (Johnson Great Room

The Nogales Produce Rescue program of the Arizona Food Bank Network, led by Dana Yost and Efrain Trigueras, brings you this short documentary film about cross-border produce rescue with Mexico. Whether you are working with farms to prevent food loss, or agencies to address hunger, or filling the logistics gap in between, this film is a must watch. It is a testament to what we can do together through collaboration when we share the conviction that a hungry child anywhere is not ok, especially when produce sits in warehouses unclaimed, or lies in fields unharvested. This story shows how the Nogales, Arizona, port of entry, a border-town and one of the largest and most phenomenal produce superhighways of Mexican-grown produce in the world, is being stewarded by the Nogales Produce Rescue team of the Arizona Food Bank Network. Roughly 6 Billion Pounds of produce pass through Nogales every year, destined for the U.S. Market and beyond, that represents 77% of produce consumed in the US in the winter months. In this film you will learn how this Nogales-based team saves the portion that does not get sold, and redirects 45 million pounds a year to families and food banks in need of hunger relief.

Speakers

Hannah Semler

3:00pm - 4:30pm

Mainstage Session 2 - Stepping Up to the Plate: The Private Sector’s Role in Fighting Food Waste (Presented in partnership with Food Tank) 

Memorial Hall

Food businesses – from growers to manufacturers to retailers and foodservice providers – generate 63% of total food waste each year. Plus, their actions have a strong effect on how much food gets wasted by consumers too. But the private sector is also leading the way in implementing solutions to reduce food waste. Join food business leaders and leading solution providers in a series of spirited discussions about the important role of the private sector in food waste reduction, the power it holds to enact change, and the ways it is living up to that responsibility.

Speakers

Alejandro Enamorado

Dana Gunders

Danielle Nierenberg

Aiesha Dempster

Amy Keister

Andrew Zimmern

Benjamin Crook

Chloe Sorvino

Christina Nguyen

Claire Oliverson

Emily Ma

Justin Kamine

Marc Zornes

Megan Morikawa, PhD

Stefan Kalb

Sunny Reelhorn Parr

4:30pm - 5:00pm

Closing Day 1 Remarks

Memorial Hall

Speakers

Dana Gunders

Alejandro Enamorado

Dr. Jonathan Foley

5:00pm - 7:00pm

Happy Hour Reception

University Hall | Thomas Swain Room

Meet & Greet with Dana Gunders & Danielle Nierenberg

7:00pm - 10:00pm

No-Host Dinners

Various locations/More details TBA

Experience the Minneapolis food scene! Sign up for dinner at a local restaurant or explore the city on your own with our recommendations.

8:00am - 12:30pm

Registration

McNamara Alumni Center

8:00am - 9:00am

Breakfast

McNamara Alumni Center

9:00am - 10:00am

Welcome Day 2 & Mainstage Session 3 - "Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice: Building a Food System That Works for Everyone"

McNamara Alumni Center, Memorial Hall

Welcome to Day 2! Join us for a special opening discussion.


In a country synonymous with abundance, millions of Americans have disproportionate access to the opportunities, resources, and distribution of benefits offered by our food system. Acknowledging and addressing the systemic inequities that cause this is the first step to creating an equitable, just, and inclusive food system for all. This session will explore indigenous food systems and waste-free sustainable practices that exist among indigenous communities, as well as how food waste and diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice values intersect and impact each other.

Speakers

Selena Mao

Dana Gunders

A-dae Romero-Briones

Rodrigo Cala

Sophia Lenarz-Coy

Yuka Nagashima

10:00am - 10:30am

Networking Break

McNamara Alumni Center

10:30am - 11:30am

Breakout Sessions (Running Concurrently)

Thomas Swain Room

Emerging Tech: Tackling Food Waste with Innovation (Presented in partnership with The Spoon)

Smart phones. Voice assistants. IoT. Technology has the power to change the world. What new technologies are being developed to fight food waste? And has a game-changing innovation already been invented? Co-hosted by ReFED and The Spoon, this Innovation Showcase will feature a slate of new and emerging food waste solutions – presented by the start-ups behind them – across sustainable supply chains and consumer categories. This session will consist of three short fireside chats moderated by Michael Wolf from The Spoon - one each for supply chain tech and consumer tech.

Speakers

Michael Wolf

Asrar Damdam

Matt Schwartz

Scott Nelson

10:30am - 11:30am

Breakout Sessions (Running Concurrently)

Ski-U-Mah Room

More Than a Solution for Surplus Food: An Interactive Deep-Dive on Designing for Equity, Justice, and Access in Food Systems (Special Presentation by ReFED) 

Our food systems are rooted in historical inequities that are still rampant today. We have an opportunity to rebuild them differently, but how can we design with those who are impacted, not for? While the primary conversation around food waste and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) has been addressing food insecurity with surplus food, there are many other intersections that go beyond using some of our most disempowered members of society as a home for surplus food — food that is great for everyone no matter their socio-demographic. Participate in this interactive discussion, led by ReFED team members, as they share insights from their research on the intersections of DEIJ and the food waste ecosystem. Ultimately, we aim to together cultivate sustainable resilient systems that nourish, rather than deprive.

Speakers

Nyree Hall

Eva Goulbourne

Lily Herd

Yuka Nagashima

10:30am - 11:30am

Breakout Sessions (Running Concurrently)

Johnson Great Room

Turning Waste into Value: New Frontiers in Recycling

What can be done to ensure we’re finding the highest and best use for any food or scraps that remain? Almost any scenario to decrease the amount of food that ends up in waste streams requires organic recycling, yet the industry faces barriers like insufficient processing capacity and unfavorable economic conditions. Dive into these challenges and discover “what’s next” for food recycling, through case studies of successful recycling models, like composting, insect farming, and more. 

Speakers

Clara Son

Ian J. Banks, PhD

Diane Curelli

Joe Burke

Seth Goodman

10:30am - 11:30am

Breakout Sessions (Running Concurrently)

Heritage Gallery Room

What the Health: How Food Waste Impacts Public Health – and Vice Versa

How do public health initiatives on topics like food security, food safety, environmental health, and nutrition advance food waste reduction efforts? How do they hinder them? And how can we leverage limited resources to create synergistic messages that support both? Join us for a wide-ranging conversation on the intersections and points of distinction between efforts to improve public health and efforts to transform our food system.

Speakers

Roni Neff

Katie Marchini

Marvin Hayes

Yvette Cabrera

11:30am - 12:00pm

Networking Break

Memorial Hall

12:00pm - 12:30pm

Closing Session

Memorial Hall

Speakers

Sam Buck

Andrew Shakman

Dana Gunders

12:30pm - 1:30pm

Lunch (To Go)

McNamara Alumni Center

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