Animal Digestible Food Packaging Initiative
Ediited July 7, 2018

Packaging that meets grocery and restaurant food safety, integrity and quality requirements and that is digestible by animals either does not exist or is not readily available today. But if grocery stores and restaurants were to utilize food packaging that meets food safety, integrity and quality requirements and that is also digestible by animals, the waste could be sent to a renderer for manufacture into animal feed. Recovered would be all the energy and natural resources that went into producing and manufacturing the food and its inherent packaging, including its inherent animal nutrition value and its economic value as a feed source.

Why is there a need for animal digestible food packaging (ADFP)?

Because “Food waste is a multi-billion dollar problem” or “opportunity” according to Rethink Food Waste through Economics and Data (ReFED) and because consumers are demanding social responsibility from its food and other suppliers – Examples include:

~   “Planet or Plastic? We Made Plastic. We Depend on It. Now We’re Drowning in It. The miracle material has made modern life possible. But more than 40 percent of it is used just once, and it’s choking our waterways” - June 2018 National Geographic article at 
~   Queen bans plastic straws and bottles on royal estates – See:
~   World's first plastic-free supermarket aisle debuts – See:
~   Starbucks is Continuing its Quest for a Greener Cup – See:
~   New Orb Media Reporting Finds Microplastics in Global Bottled Water – See:
~   The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is rapidly accumulating plastic – See:

Should quick service restaurants and grocers take a stand on the after-life environmental effects of single use plastic packaging?

If yes, Sustainable Brands reported on June 28, 2018 that consumers are “… ready to reward brands that take stands … Consumers want brands to stand up for issues in their areas of expertise … [Consumers] believe companies should provide ongoing support for issues that align with the types of products or services they offer … companies [should] look to their primary business first to refine their purpose and prioritize relevant social issues … It is clear that brands have much to gain from taking stances that fit with their organization’s purpose and product ... The key is effectively communicating those stances …" - The SB article is here:  - One stand grocers and restaurants could take is to support funding for research necessary to discover new food packaging materials that are digestible by animals as addressed by this initiative

No one industry, be it food or package manufacturers, restaurants or grocers, is willing to assume the responsibility to fund millions of dollars of research likely to be required to identify new packaging materials that would meet food safety, integrity and quality requirements and also be digestible by animals.
~   If such packaging is to be found, a food industry cooperative research effort will be required through creation of a public-private partnership (PPP) comprised of key stakeholders (including food and package manufactures, grocers and foodservice companies, renderers, pet food manufacturers, their trade associations, government agencies, foundations, think tanks and universities).

​Funding for such a PPP can be found through:

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) at: which " ... builds unique partnerships to support innovative and actionable science addressing today’s food and agriculture challenges. The Foundation was established by the Farm Bill passed in 2014 and charged with complementing and furthering the important work of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Leveraging public and private resources, FFAR will increase the scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to enhancing sustainable production of nutritious food for a growing global population."

or the

National Science Foundation (NSF) “Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems” program at which “ … seeks to support research that conceptualizes FEW systems broadly and inclusively, incorporating social and behavioral processes (such as decision making and governance), physical processes (such as built infrastructure and new technologies for more efficient resource utilization), natural processes (such as biogeochemical and hydrologic cycles), biological processes (such as agroecosystem structure and productivity), and cyber-components (such as sensing, networking, computation and visualization for decision-making and assessment) …”

The Animal Digestible Food Packaging Initiative (ADFPI) is a registered Maryland non-profit (IRS 501(c)(3) status pending) with the goal/objective of bringing together key representatives of grocers, restaurants, food manufacturers, food packaging manufacturers and their trade associations to discuss interest in the establishment of such a PPP.
~   Information about the ADFPI Maryland nonprofit is here:

The ADFPI initiative is the first in a two-step process - The first step is to get key decision makers in a room to discuss the establishment of a public-private partnership (PPP). The second step is for meeting participants to work with others including government agencies to fund such a PPP.

Just to be clear, the initiative is not seeking animal digestible food packaging (ADFP) per se, nor is it seeking funding to source ADFP; the initiative is seeking to convince representatives of the food and packaging industry to cooperate with with others, including FFAR and the NSF, to establish a public-private partnership with the goal of discovering ADFP and then encouraging its use.

Until funding for the initiative can be found, the initiative is seeking volunteers to join the initiative to serve the following roles for which the Executive Director does not have the required experience or expertise:
~   Web Master – Maintain the ADFPI www site,
~   Finance Director – Seek crowd funding and initiative income from other sources and manage income, expenses and taxes.
~   Social Media Director – Set up and manage FaceBook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter and U-Tube accounts.
~   Legal Counsel with nonprofit organization experience.
~   Advisors - Current advisors are shown below.

The Executive Director represented the initiative during the
~   March 27 and 28 Washington, DC meeting of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) Science Forum - See:
and will represent the during the  July 15 - 18, 2018 Annual Meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) - See:

ADFPI Advisors

William Fisher, M.S., CFS, most recently served as Vice President of Science and Policy Initiatives with the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT, serving as liaison with government agencies, elected officials and organizations that share a common commitment to the science of food and its application. As the lead executive in charge of science and policy initiatives, he ensured that IFT played a critical role in the identification and analysis of emerging food issues; oversaw development of programs addressing issues on the science of food and its application; and lead the development of key science reports, public comments and policy-oriented documents. He served as the first Executive Director of IFT’s Global Food Traceability Center - He may be reached by email at

Bill Roenigk is an agribusiness consultant focused on the poultry industry and market. An important part of his work includes analyzing the situation and outlook for competing meat and other proteins. For most of his 40-year career with the National Chicken Council (NCC) he served as senior Vice President and chief economist. Prior to joining the NCC, he was an agricultural economist with  the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service and Economic Research Service and the Cost of Living Council - He may be reached by email at​

David Meeker, Ph.D., M.B.A. is senior vice president, Scientific Services of the National Renderers Association (NRA) in Alexandria, VA.  He serves as the scientific/technical advisor to the North American rendering industry on science, animal disease, and feed safety issues.  He is also Research Director for the Fats and Proteins Research Foundation.  Dr. Meeker previously served in scientific and management positions at the National Turkey Federation and National Pork Producers Council, was director of the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources at the National Academy of Sciences, and was an associate professor at The Ohio State University.  Over the past three decades, he has been an advisor to numerous governmental, professional, and business organizations in the U.S. and internationally. He is past president of the U.S. Animal Health Association, a member of the scientific advisory panel of the World Renderers Organization (WRO), and a former member of the USDA Secretary's Advisory Committee on Animal Health. He received his B.S., M.S., Ph.D., and M.B.A. degrees from Iowa State University - He may be reached by email at

Damanna Ram Rao, Ph.D. graduated from Auburn University, AL with M. S. and Ph. D. degrees in Animal Nutrition and Biochemistry. After completing two postdoctoral fellowships form the University of Illinois and Shell Development Research Division, he joined Alabama A & M University where worked for 25 years teaching courses in food science, food safety and biochemistry and nutrition, along with research resulting in 70 peer-reviewed publications in flagship journals; he also developed curricula through Ph. D. level. After this academic stint, Dr. Rao joined the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)-USDA as National Program Leader in Food Science and Technology. In this capacity, he worked with: Universities and other stakeholders in determining the direction of science; developing research agenda. He administered wide variety of grants including food security; reviewed academic programs and recommending improvements; served on advisory councils of food science departments; participated in Interagency negotiations for joint research programs; initiated potential formation if public, private partnerships food safety. He was elected as a Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists - He may be reached by email at

Jessica Wasserman is the founder of Wasserman & Associates a policy advisory firm with clients in the global food industry.  A specialty of the firm is labeling and packaging, where increasingly food businesses are seeking sustainable packaging opportunities and alternatives, including opportunities to brand products as sustainable. Emerging global certification and norms are an important aspect in this field.  The focus in the US Congress on food waste issues is another expertise of the firm. Prior Jessica worked at the US Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service and at the Department of Commerce where she represented the agency at the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment.  She may be reached at


Jack Cooper, Executive Director, retired effective October 1, 2017, from FIEN, LLC the regulatory and policy email update service he founded in 1990 - His Linkedin bio is here: 
Animal Digestible Food Packaging Initiative (ADFPI), a Maryland nonprofit with IRS 501(c)(3) status pending​
33 Falling Creek Court
Silver Spring, Maryland 20904
Text me at 301 384 8287
Email me at