Conagra Foods

At a Glance


Consumer Packaged Goods

Project Type

Food and Agriculture




Chicago, IL


Conagra has spent many hours considering the upcycling potential within their supply chain. Those hours had been spent considering which ingredients, technology, or brand had the best prospective impact but through Environmental Defense Fund’s Climate Corps fellowship, Madeline Bowers decided to flip that thinking.


While the project goal was to ‘assess the business case for upcycling food waste’, Madeline spent time building bridges between functional groups in order to integrate the financial and technological opportunities already present in the market. She focused on the available data to identify which waste stream provided the most absolute volume.

Through this endeavor she also identified the gaps in data collection and integrity – an improvement that would make future upcycling projects more easily quantifiable. After completing a landscape analysis of the potential partners, Madeline identified multiple existing ventures in the right space and presented viable options to key decision makers. 

Potential Impact

As this fellowship ends, the immediate impact of our project brings the upcycling initiative one step closer to a “why not?” decision. Now that an external partner has been identified and the scale of simple revenue has been communicated, the long-term possibilities of this Climate Corps Fellowship are as numerous as the options for upcycling food waste.

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