January 09, 2024

As California’s mandatory food recovery law goes into effect, Copia offers a tech-based compliance solution for food businesses of all sizes


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Copia’s technology and vast nonprofit network makes donating surplus food quick and easy 

Laguna Beach, CA — Jan. 9, 2024 — New Year, new laws. For California “edible food generators” like hotels, large restaurants, and event facilities, January 1 marked the first day of mandated local enforcement of SB 1383 – California’s food recovery law – for Tier 2 waste generators. The law, passed in 2016 with the dual goals of reducing food insecurity in the state and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from food thrown into landfills, requires food businesses to recover the maximum amount of their edible food that would otherwise go to landfills. These businesses must also keep records to demonstrate their legal compliance. Donating edible surplus consistently, and keeping track of the donations, can be difficult and costly without help. This is where Copia, a California based technology-enabled surplus recovery service, steps in.

“We understand that donating surplus food can be challenging due to its complexity. That’s precisely why we built our technology – to remove friction from the surplus donation process,” says Kimberly Smith, CEO of Copia. “Copia simplifies complex logistics and nonprofit vetting, allowing our partners to focus on their core operations, while also proving compliance, realizing meaningful enhanced tax deductions, and doing good in their communities. We’ve made donations our business so Copia’s donor partners can concentrate on their own businesses.”

One restaurant brand that’s ready for SB 1383 is True Food Kitchen, a seasonally-driven restaurant concept focused on great tasting, nutritious food and thoughtfully crafted beverages. True Food Kitchen already utilizes Copia’s technology to simplify and track donations across many of its US locations, so executives knew where to turn when it came to implementing a donation program in its California stores. “We’ve always been big on helping the planet and our local communities. Copia makes it easy for us to redirect surplus and kickstart donation programs whenever we open up. It’s awesome to have a partner that checks all the boxes when it comes to donations!” said John Williams, CEO at True Food Kitchen.

Of course, restaurants aren’t the only edible food generators that must prove legislative compliance: large health facilities with on-site food facilities must also follow the new law. Sutter Health has been a food surplus donor since 2019 and now utilizes Copia at 16 healthcare facilities throughout California. Jack Breezee, Valley Area Regional Director of Food and Nutrition Services at Sutter Health, knows how important donating surplus food is: “For Sutter Health, the fact that Copia offers easy compliance with SB 1383 is icing on the cake. Copia has become the backbone of a sustainable process that is not only achievable and manageable, but replicable day after day. Copia has played a key role in our commitment to both community engagement and environmental responsibility, helping us effectively reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and promote  water conservation.” 

In addressing California’s legislative impact, Smith added that “California often sets the tone for progressive legislation, exemplified by SB 1383. With the right social and environmental motivators, coupled with existing financial benefits, we anticipate a domino effect, inspiring many states to follow suit and ultimately being a catalyst for widespread societal change. “

To get started donating, businesses can find the Copia App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play, or they can go to www.gocopia.com to learn more. For more information on SB 1383, visit www.calrecycle.ca.gov.

About Copia

Copia, a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC), is the leading technology-enabled service for managing food surplus redistribution, empowering food service & retail companies like hotels, grocers, caterers, and restaurants to effectively manage their waste and easily distribute their surplus food. National brands across the US work with Copia to reduce food insecurity in the communities where they operate every day, help reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by diverting food from landfills, and boost their profitability through enhanced tax deductions. 

About True Food Kitchen 

Founded in Phoenix in 2008, True Food Kitchen is a restaurant and lifestyle brand inspired by the philosophy that food should make you feel better, not worse, and that great-tasting food and thoughtfully crafted beverages can serve as the foundation for a life well-lived. The brand is driven by a passionate collective of accomplished chefs, visionary restaurateurs, and a renowned doctor of integrative medicine who believe delicious dining and conscious nutrition can go hand-in-hand without sacrificing flavor, creativity or indulgence. True Food Kitchen emphasizes wholesome, simple ingredients with thoughtful preparations to highlight the natural health benefits and flavors of each ingredient. From nutrient-dense staples and carefully sourced proteins to little-known superfoods, True Food Kitchen is committed to sourcing the most responsible, creative, and freshest in-season ingredients. The brand has 45 restaurants in 17 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

About Sutter Health

Sutter Health’s integrated, not-for-profit system of associated clinicians, employees and volunteers supports more than 3 million patients in diverse communities across two dozen counties. Headquartered in Northern California, Sutter provides access to high quality, affordable care through its hospitals, medical foundations, ambulatory surgery centers, urgent and walk-in care centers, telehealth, home health and hospice services.

Press contact: Brigitte@gocopia.com

Copia is the leading technology-enabled surplus recovery service, empowering businesses to easily distribute their surplus. National brands across the US work with Copia to reduce food insecurity in the communities where they operate, help reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and boost their profitability.

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