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Roundtable: Wasted Food Regulations

Taking Action for the Future of Our Climate

On August 24th, 2023 Divert hosted the third installment of our Protecting the Value of Food™ roundtable series, focused on wasted food regulations!

The roundtable focused on driving awareness around wasted food regulations, both on a federal and statewide level. Key discussion areas included the current landscape and best practices on how to navigate wasted food regulations, the importance of education and leadership in implementing diversion programs, and building a culture of sustainability.

Our Roundtable Panel:

(Moderator) Deena Shanker, Reporter, Bloomberg

Deena Shanker is a food reporter at Bloomberg. She has also written for Quartz, Fortune, and other publications. Her work focuses on issues around sustainability, health and consumer behavior. She lives in Westchester, NY with her family and is very proud of her vegetable and pollinator garden.

Elaine Blatt, Senior Policy & Program Analyst, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

Elaine Blatt is a Senior Policy Analyst at Oregon DEQ. Her primary focus is on sustainable consumption and production of materials, and she is currently leading development of DEQ’s second strategy for reducing the impacts of food. She managed market research that informed development of values-based messaging to encourage Oregon households to reduce wasted food, represents Oregon in the Pacific Coast Food Waste Commitment to promote food waste reduction among grocers, food manufacturers, and the hospitality industry, and developed outreach on food waste prevention for food service businesses. She is also leading DEQ’s exploration of potential approaches to increase food waste recovery for management through composting and anaerobic digestion. Prior to joining DEQ, Elaine worked for 15 years in both the US and Asia on projects related to sustainable production and consumption, energy efficiency, and supply chain management. She has a MA in Public Policy from the University of Chicago and a BA in Political Science from Carleton College.

Brianna Kramer, Senior Manager of Corporate Retail Operations and Sustainability, Kroger

Bri leads Retail Operations Expense and Sustainability at The Kroger Co. In addition to being the company’s leader for all goods not for resale, Bri is also focused on bringing Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social and environmental impact plan to life to help eliminate hunger and waste across our communities. Prior to joining Kroger, Bri was a Change Management and Learning Strategy Consultant at TiER1 Performance Solutions supporting Fortune 100 companies through enterprise transformations.

Tori Oto, Clinical Fellow, Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic

Tori Oto is a clinical fellow and attorney at the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic. Her portfolio focuses on advancing federal and state policies that reduce food loss and waste, increase food access, and ensure greater equity in the American food system.

Chris Thomas, VP of Public Affairs, Divert, Inc.

Chris Thomas serves as Vice President of Public Affairs. A trusted advisor to C-suite leaders and two former US Cabinet secretaries, he brings over 25 years of expertise in government relations, public engagement, and corporate strategy in the technology, transportation, energy, and clean tech industries. Most recently, Chris was a senior leader on Lyft’s Public Policy team and led the first ever negotiated legislative deal between gig companies, legislators, and organized labor. Chris holds a Master’s in Business Administration from The George Washington University School of Business and a B.S. and M.S. in Civil & Environmental Engineering from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

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