Food Waste Reduction Challenge: innovators advance to the semi-finals

Food waste reduction challenge

In Canada, over half of the food supply goes to waste each year and almost $50 billion of that wasted food is avoidable. To help inspire new ideas and engage diverse perspectives, the Government of Canada launched the Food Waste Reduction Challenge in November 2020, asking innovators to deliver game-changing solutions to this long-standing and complex issue.

The $20-million Challenge is an initiative under the Food Policy for Canada and was created to encourage high-impact solutions to food waste in Canada.

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, closed in January 2021.

This first round of the Challenge attracted 343 applications from innovators across Canada and around the world.

Promising ideas for the future

In early May 2021, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada announced the 24 semi-finalists for Streams A and B. These innovators have a diverse range of solutions in areas across the food supply chain including food production, food inventory management, transportation, food waste measurement, marketplace solutions, food safety, food recovery, upcycling food waste, and organic waste treatment.

Each innovator receives $100,000 and moves to compete in the market demonstration stage of the Challenge, which involves testing, evaluation and reporting on their solution's effectiveness.

Quick Facts:

  • Up to 12 innovators with the most promising solutions will be selected by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to receive up to $400,000 and become finalists for Streams A and B. At the third and final stage, one winner per stream will be awarded a grand prize of up to $1.5 million.
  • Entries were evaluated against established criteria, including potential volume of food waste reduction, level of innovation and scalability as well as environmental, social and economic benefits.
  • The launch of Challenge Streams C and D, which will focus on technological solutions to food waste, is planned for spring 2021.

Learn about these incredible innovators and their diverse solutions by visiting The Food Waste Reduction Challenge website.

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