Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced the 18 semi-finalists selected under the Novel Technologies Streams to find new solutions to food waste. Minister Bibeau met virtually with the semi-finalists and listened to their innovative food waste reduction solutions.
Every year, over half of Canada’s food supply is wasted, and nearly $50 billion of that wasted food is avoidable.
The Challenge, launched in November 2020, aims to deliver high-impact solutions to food waste in Canada. The Novel Technologies Streams is focused on technological solutions to food waste to extend the life of perishable food, transform food waste and accelerate their advancement in the Canadian market.
With the Government of Canada’s investment for this initiative under the Food Policy for Canada, the second round of the Challenge attracted 238 applications from innovators across Canada and around the world. The 18 semi-finalists’ entries span a diverse range of areas including green chemistry to create natural additives, edible coatings, or bioplastics.
Each semi-finalist will receive $100,000 and move on to the prototype development stage of the Challenge. Over the next eight months, semi-finalists will build or complete an existing prototype of their technology and report on their solution’s effectiveness. A total of six finalists for the Novel Technologies Streams will be selected, each receiving up to an additional $450,000, with finalists competing to win one of two grand prizes of up to $1 million.
“The Food Waste Reduction Challenge is bringing together innovators from across the country who have new ideas and perspectives for creating a more sustainable food system in Canada. Every submission received has tremendous potential to help tackle the problem of food waste head on. I would like to congratulate all the semi-finalists and wish them best of luck as they compete in the next phase of the Challenge.”
– The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
- According to estimates, 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.
- 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.
- An External Review Committee, composed of subject matter experts from a diverse range of backgrounds, plays an important role in reviewing solutions and recommending winners at each stage of the Challenge.
- Under the Food Waste Reduction Challenge’s Business Model Streams, 24 semi-finalists were selected in May 2021. Each semi-finalist in the Challenge’s first cohort received $100,000 and is moving on to compete in the market demonstration stage of the Challenge. This is the second and final cohort of the $20-million Food Waste Reduction Challenge, an initiative under the Food Policy for Canada.
- The Food Waste Reduction Challenge is part of the first-ever Food Policy for Canada, which serves as a roadmap for a healthier and more sustainable food system in Canada. It is a vision that all people should be able to access the healthy food they need in a dignified manner.