Minister Bibeau launches second half of $20-million Food Waste Reduction Challenge
May 25, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, and the Member of Parliament for Burnaby North–Seymour, Terry Beech, hosted a virtual event to launch the novel technology streams of Canada's Food Waste Reduction Challenge, an initiative under the Food Policy for Canada.
Every year, over half of Canada's food supply is wasted, and nearly $50 billion of that wasted food is avoidable.
To help spark new ideas and engage diverse perspectives, the Government of Canada launched the $20-million Food Waste Reduction Challenge in November 2020, calling for innovators to deliver game-changing solutions to this long-standing and complex issue.
The Challenge's novel technology streams (Streams C and D) are now open for concept applications with a closing date of August 31, 2021. Up to $6.5 million in prize funding will be awarded to innovators with novel technologies that can extend the life of food or transform food that would otherwise be lost or wasted.
To learn more, including how to apply, visit the Food Waste Reduction Challenge website.
The Government of Canada is committed to reducing the amount of food wasted across Canada through a wide variety of initiatives and investments.
"The Food Waste Reduction Challenge is revealing the tremendous appetite and ingenuity across Canada to tackle the problem of food waste head-on. We are calling innovators of all types and sizes to bring forward new and innovative technological solutions that will extend the life of food or transform food waste. Our Government is committed to empowering our innovators and creating a truly sustainable food system in Canada."
- The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
"The environmental, social and economic benefits of reducing food waste are huge. It means less greenhouse gas emissions while increasing food availability. It can save consumers and businesses money and create new business opportunities. Through the Food Waste Reduction Challenge, the Government of Canada wants to back innovators with novel technologies to fight food waste. I encourage all to apply and be part of the solution!"
- Terry Beech, Member of Parliament for Burnaby North–Seymour
Minister Bibeau and MP Beech were joined by food waste experts Bruce Hardy, Founder of Myera Group; Tyler Hennick, Global Analytics Lead at McCain Foods; Dr. Jean-Charles Le Vallée, Canadian Country Representative to the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture in Costa Rica; and Dr. Tammara Soma, Assistant Professor at Simon Fraser University and Research Director of the Food Systems Lab.
By encouraging more solutions to food waste in Canadian society, we can increase food availability, save consumers and businesses money and strengthen our food systems, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Entries to the Challenge will be evaluated against established criteria, including technology effectiveness, level of innovation and scalability, impact on food safety and integrity as well as environmental and economic benefits.
Eligible applicants include: businesses and social enterprises of any size; not-for-profit and charitable organizations; Indigenous organizations and groups; academic institutions; and individuals or a group of individuals.
The Challenge is open to international applicants with a Canadian partner or an ability to register to do business in Canada and solutions must be deployed in Canada.
For Streams C and D, up to 18 semi-finalists will be selected by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to receive $100,000 and move on to develop prototypes of their technology over an eight-month period. Then, up to six finalists will receive up to an additional $450,000 to evaluate the effectiveness of their solution over one year. At the final stage, one winner per stream will be awarded a grand prize of up to $1 million.
Applications for Streams A and B, which focus on business model solutions that can prevent or divert food waste at any point from farm to plate, opened November 19, 2020 and closed January 18, 2021. This first round of the Challenge attracted 343 applications from innovators in Canada and around the world and the 24 semi-finalists were announced on May 7, 2021.
The first-ever Food Policy for Canada is a roadmap for a healthier and more sustainable food system in Canada – one that builds on the Government's ambitious agenda to support the growth of Canada's farmers and food businesses.
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
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