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Upcycled Certified Certification FAQs


Why should I certify my upcycled product or ingredient?

Upcycled Certified® is the world’s only third-party certification program for upcycled food ingredients and products. The certification mark provides consumers clear guidance about the presence of upcycled food ingredients in food, beverages, cosmetics, pet food, personal care products, household cleaners, dietary supplements, and other consumer products.


A study by food and beverage industry expert Mattson showed more than 50% of consumers had increased intent to buy Upcycled Certified® foods when the mark was on packaging, already ranking better than other product certifications on the market. The Upcycled Certified® mark puts the power in the consumer’s hands to reduce food waste. The Upcycled Certified® mark removes the education burden from individual companies, is a powerful tool for brands to convey transparency and credibility to consumers, and unites both companies and consumers behind a vision.

Who is eligible for Upcycled Certified®?

Non-durable goods that contain upcycled food ingredients with verifiable supply chains are currently eligible for certification. Certification is awarded per formulation of a product or ingredient. Please note that meeting these requirements does not guarantee certification; compliance is fully vetted and confirmed during the certification process.

How much of my product or ingredient must be upcycled to qualify for certification?

Upcycled Certified® offers three upcycled input thresholds for certification:

  • Upcycled Ingredient (UI): contains a minimum of 95% upcycled input(s) by weight (excluding added water).

  • Product Containing Upcycled Ingredients (PUI): contains a minimum of 10% upcycled input(s) by weight (excluding added water).

  • Minimal Content: contains less than 10% upcycled input(s) by weight (excluding added water).

How much does it cost to get Upcycled Certified®?

The cost varies depending on the number of products or ingredients you intend to submit for certification. You can review the Fee Schedule here (link it).  All invoices will be billed as review activities occur; no fees are due upfront. Certification activities are conducted on an annual basis, so fees will apply each year.

How long will it take to get certified?

On average the certification process takes 60-90 days to complete and is dependent on a number of factors, including the number of products and/or ingredients under review, availability of necessary supply chain documentation, and how quickly each participating brand is able to complete the necessary paperwork.  WFCF will work with you to ensure all program requirements are clear and all questions are addressed. Certification cannot be guaranteed by a specific date for any participant.

How can I prove that my product or ingredient contains upcycled food?

Each participant will need to provide verifiable documentation that food waste is being diverted from a waste stream and is being used within each product or ingredient submitted for certification. Supply chain documentation such as bills of lading, invoices, waste records, and production records are often used to meet this requirement, however the documentation necessary may vary by supply chain. 

My upcycled product contains an ingredient that is already Upcycled Certified®. Do I need to enroll my product in certification?

Yes! Each formulation that intends to use the Upcycled Certified® mark and claim must be evaluated by the WFCF team. Each product or ingredient must meet all upcycled input thresholds, additional program requirements, and be awarded certification in order to market themselves as Upcycled Certified®. Products that use a certified ingredient will need to demonstrate inclusion of that ingredient into their product; however, will not need to validate that the ingredient is upcycled as that proof has already been provided by the ingredient supplier. Sourcing an Upcycled Certified ingredient helps to fast track your review process!

What products or ingredients are ineligible for certification?

The following types of goods are currently ineligible for certification:      

  1. Inputs derived from wood and forestry products.      

  2. Cigarettes, tobacco, vaping, or nicotine products.      

  3. Controlled substances or similarly restricted ingredients or products according to local, state, federal, or other laws which might supersede this Standard.      

  4. Durable goods.

Verification Matters.
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