Over­looked as­sets

How fruit-and-veg­etable pro­ces­sor Bal­dor is trans­form­ing food waste into a big busi­ness

Fast Company - - Contents - By Adele Peters Pho­to­graph by Kevin Van Aelst

How a ma­jor food-pro­cess­ing fa­cil­ity turned food waste into rev­enue.

Ev­ery week, a mil­lion pounds of pro­duce is plucked from farms all over the coun­try and de­liv­ered to Bal­dor’s 172,000-square-foot fa­cil­ity in the Bronx, where it is washed, chopped, and pack­aged be­fore be­ing trucked to gro­cery stores and restau­rants. In the past, the trim­mings—car­rot peels, straw­berry tops, onion skins, and so forth—were brought to a land­fill and com­post­ing fa­cil­ity, amount­ing to 150,000 pounds of waste per week. That changed when Thomas Mc­quil­lan, Bal­dor’s di­rec­tor of food ser­vice sales and sus­tain­abil­ity, re­al­ized what he was throw­ing away. “I looked at the prod­uct and said, ‘It’s food,’ ” he re­calls. “‘We need to treat it as food.’ ”

Now, af­ter launch­ing a ma­jor waste-re­duc­tion ini­tia­tive, the com­pany no longer trucks any­thing to the

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