Baldor Specialty Foods, the Northeast’s leading produce processor and distributor, announced today that it has successfully diverted 100 percent of the organic waste generated in its Fresh Cuts operation from landfill – thanks to its food waste initiative known as SparCs (the word “scraps” spelled backwards).
SparCs is a waste prevention strategy developed by Baldor’s Sustainability Director, Thomas McQuillan. Baldor Specialty Foods processes over one million pounds of produce each week and was discarding a worrisome amount of usable food scraps. “We had to stop referring to these food products as waste,” says McQuillan. “It’s food. Usable, nutritious and delicious food. We just needed to find ways to consume it.”
Baldor’s SparCs program takes a multi-faceted approach to organic food waste, prioritizing human consumption whenever possible. This emphasis has inspired partnerships with companies like Washington D.C.’s MISFIT Juicery, who recover unsellable, blemished, “ugly produce” for use in cold-pressed juices. Baldor now sends food trim to MISFIT to be made into juices. In addition, Haven’s Kitchen, a Manhattan based café and cooking school dedicated to forming community through the pleasure of cooking and eating, recently developed a food line made up of Baldor’s SparCs such as soups, sauces and cookies.
For many produce items, such as cantaloupe rinds and mango pits, which are unfit for human consumption, McQuillan worked with several partners who repurpose them into animal feed, including Brick Farm Market located in Hopewell, New Jersey.
Any remaining organic material, not used for human or animal consumption, is processed with in an on-site waste-to-water system. With the SparCs program, Baldor has successfully diverted 100% of its excess food from ever reaching a landfill.
“We pride ourselves on being innovators and trail blazers in all facets of specialty food distribution,” says Baldor’s CEO, TJ Murphy. “SparCs is just the next logical manifestation of that commitment, and we’re happy to present this sustainability model for others in the industry to adopt.”
In 2017, Baldor will continue developing new ways to keep organic matter out of its waste stream, and is already working on plans to create a dried vegetable blend or “flour” that provides a nutrient-dense boost to soups, smoothies, baked goods and more.
The Baldor’s SparCs Program has partnered with:
- Haven’s Kitchen is a recreational cooking school, cafe and event space in New York City’s Union Square neighborhood. Haven’s Kitchen was founded by Alison Cayne to teach our guests the joy of cooking, and how our food choices are connected to a larger food economy.
- MISFIT Juicery, who take excess produce and cold press it into a delicious line of juices.
- Brick Farm Market, who are a locally sustainable operation that take food from farm to market to table and back to the farm in the form of compost or animal feed.
Baldor Specialty Foods is the premier distributor of fresh produce and specialty foods for top chefs throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. The company’s roots in the iconic Greenwich Village grocer Balducci’s shaped its mission to curate and deliver the best foods in the world. To learn more, go to www.baldorfood.com.