Government supports efforts to reduce food waste and enhance sustainability

News release

February 17, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Canadians are trailblazers in agricultural innovation and environmental sustainability. Investments in research, development and innovation are crucial to helping Canada's agriculture sector preserve and protect our natural resources and environment. 

Today, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced up to $1,545,000 in funding for Outcast Foods Inc. to expand their operations in food waste reduction that upcycles surplus and unsaleable fruits and vegetables from growers, processors and retailers into dried, plant-based powders and solid food ingredients.

More than half of Canada’s food supply is wasted annually and nearly $50 billion of that wasted food is avoidable. 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.

The funding announced today will help support the expansion of their demonstration plant in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and commission a new full-scale facility in Burlington, Ontario. Together the two plants are projected to process up to 35,800,000 tonnes of waste fruit and vegetables by 2024 into more than 4,100,000 million pounds of plant-based, powdered ingredients annually, a conversion rate of approximately 12 percent. The plant-based ingredients created at these facilities are sold as branded health products as well as raw food and beverage ingredients that are high in nutrition, vitamins, phytochemicals and natural flavours.          

This announcement is part of the federal government’s efforts to strengthen Canada’s food system at every step—from sustainable food production and processing, to strong local food infrastructure, to less food waste. Investments in innovation and technology are helping secure the vitality of the sector for generations to come.

Quotes

“Canadian food researchers are globally recognized innovators in sustainable development and food waste reduction. The transformation of unsellable fruits and vegetables into high-quality plant-based powders will generate additional revenue streams for agricultural producers. Through tackling greenhouse gas emissions produced by food waste while developing healthy products, the program will be win-win for Canadian agriculture.”

- The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“This funding gives us the capacity to continue to chart a path as leaders in the upcycling movement. We are scaling our operation, developing our inbound supply network with Canadian farmers, and growing our ingredients and retail sales pipelines. This funding not only supports operations but also sales, marketing, and talent recruitment.” 

- Dan McKenn, CEO, Outcast Foods Inc.

Quick facts

  • Outcast Foods Inc. (Outcast) is a food waste technology company established in 2017 that upcycles fruit and vegetable waste from farm producers, retail grocer distribution centres and food processors into a range of high value powdered ingredients.

  • The AgriInnovate program, under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, provides repayable contributions for projects that aim to accelerate the commercialization, adoption and/or demonstration of innovative products, technologies, processes or services that increase agri-sector competitiveness and sustainability.

  • The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a $3 billion, five-year (2018-2023) investment by federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) governments to strengthen and grow Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector.

Associated links

Contacts

Marianne Dandurand
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
marianne.dandurand@agr.gc.ca
343-541-9229

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
1-866-345-7972
aafc.mediarelations-relationsmedias.aac@agr.gc.ca
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