Statement from the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food on Food Waste Action Week
March 07, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau, released the following statement to mark Food Waste Action Week:
Every year, over half of Canada's food supply is wasted at every stage of the food supply chain: harvesting, storage, processing, manufacturing, transport, distribution retail, food service, and at home.
And not only food is wasted – we also need to consider the energy and resources expended in bringing food to our tables. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, if food waste were a country, it would have the third-biggest carbon footprint after the U.S. and China.
This week, people around the world are getting involved in Food Waste Action Week to do their part for the environment and the planet. This year’s theme, ‘Food waste feeds climate change,’ is a reminder that food waste contributes an estimated eight per cent of all greenhouse gases worldwide.
Two years ago, our Government took action on food waste with the launch of the $20-million Food Waste Reduction Challenge, offering cash prizes for innovative ideas from Canadian entrepreneurs. And we were thrilled with the response - over 500 inspiring ideas to prevent, divert and transform food waste. The real challenge will be picking the winners!
Every single submission we received has tremendous potential to better value our food, reduce emissions, and respond to some of the major food systems and climate change challenges facing our planet today.
The Food Waste Reduction Challenge is a key pillar in our Food Policy for Canada, our 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.
By taking action on food waste, we can save money, protect the environment, and create new business opportunities for our agri-food entrepreneurs. And we can take major steps towards meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goal to cut global food waste in half by 2030.
Canada’s food supply chain can take action on food waste by improving inventory management and exploring new uses for food waste such as animal feed, biofuels and new products.
So how can Canadians take part in this week? Freeze what you don’t eat, use up all your left overs -- and avoid tossing food just because it’s past its best-before dates.
So let’s all do our part for Food Waste Action Week -- not only this week, but all year long!
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
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