Minister Bibeau announces Food Waste Reduction Challenge finalists for the Business Models Streams
OTTAWA, ON, June 16, 2022
OTTAWA, ON, June 16, 2022 /CNW/ - Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced the 12 finalists of the Business Models Streams for the Food Waste Reduction Challenge. Minister Bibeau met virtually with the finalists and learned about their innovative solutions to reduce food waste.
The Challenge, launched in November 2020, aims to deliver high-impact solutions to food waste in Canada. With more than half (58%) of Canada's annual food supply wasted or lost, it is critical to tackle food waste to build a more sustainable future. The Business Models Streams focus on business model solutions that can prevent or divert food waste at any point from farm to plate.
With the Government of Canada's investment for this initiative under the Food Policy for Canada, the first round of the Challenge attracted 343 applications from innovators across Canada and around the world. The 12 finalists are Canadian commercial and non-commercial organizations with entries that span a diverse range of areas including production, inventory management, food recovery and upcycling.
Each finalist will receive $400,000 and move on to the final stage of the Challenge. Over the next 12 months, finalists will accelerate and scale up the commercialization of their solution. Finalists are competing to win one of two grand prizes of up to $1.5 million.
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. 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.
"With this stream of the Food Waste Reduction Challenge, we would like to accelerate the development of new business models that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower the cost of groceries. Thank you to the participants for their innovations and congratulations to the 12 finalists who will advance to the next stage of the Challenge."
- The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Food Waste Reduction Challenge's Business Model Streams 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 Novel Technologies Streams, 18 semi-finalists were selected in January 2022. Each semi-finalist in the Challenge's second cohort received $100,000 and moved on to compete in the prototype development stage of the Challenge.
For the list of the Business Models Streams' finalists, please see the Backgrounder or visit the Food Waste Reduction Challenge website.
Food Waste Reduction Challenge finalists for the Business Models Streams
The $20-million Food Waste Reduction Challenge was launched in November 2020 to accelerate and advance diverse and high-impact solutions to food waste in Canada. The Business Models Streams support food waste solutions ready for commercialization that provide an innovative way of doing business (i.e. a new business model) to prevent or divert food waste across any or multiple segments of the food supply chain.
Here are the 12 finalists selected under the Business Models Streams:
Abokichi is a food brand that is harnessing century-old practices from Japan to upcycle okara into innovative and delicious products. Okara, the nutritious pulp (50% fibre and 25% protein) remaining after tofu/soymilk production, is a staple in Asian cuisine but has yet to find a market in Canada. Over 7,000 tons are wasted annually across Canada.
Blanc de gris developed a commercial mushroom growing process that coverts brewers' spent grain for a substrate used to grow high-end, gourmet mushrooms. The company is currently developing a mushroom farm that is connected to a microbrewery so that brewers' spent grain can be repurposed on site, rending transportation to landfill sites or other treatment sites unnecessary.
Circular Innovation Council offers the institutional, commercial, and industrial (IC&I) sector—Canada's largest generator of food waste—the ability to recover edible food and cost-effectively divert food waste otherwise lost to disposal through a co-operative buying financial model that can be replicated and scaled by communities across the country.
Food Cycle Science is partnering with small, rural, northern, and Indigenous communities on residential food waste diversion using their on-site FoodCycler technology. The FoodCycler transforms food waste into a nutrient-rich soil amendment in hours – keeping food waste out of landfills and reducing methane emissions caused by landfilled organics.
LOOP Synergies is an initiative powered by LOOP Mission which aims to facilitate and exponentially spread the use of upcycled ingredients in food manufacturing. LOOP creates fruit and vegetable based products (e.g., juices, purees and powder) that any food manufacturer can easily use as ingredients in their production process, providing a cost-effective and easy to use solution to counter the challenges of working with discarded foods or by-products.
Outcast Foods obtains fresh "waste produce" and surplus produce from retailers, farmers, and agri-food businesses and converts it into whole plant powders and dehydrated products. The company is also developing solutions to deal with the complexities of sourcing, transporting and cleaning of waste stream food.
Savormetrics provides artificial intelligence (AI)-driven sensor devices that not only detect, but predict defects, contaminants and shelf life, allowing for smarter growing, inventory movement, and processing. The devices allow food sector businesses to reduce food waste and save significant costs.
Still Good upcycles brewers' spent grain, a nutrient-rich wasted material derived from the brewing industry that is high in fibre and protein. In the process of innovating upcycled food products, the company is also developing advanced technologies for processing barley brewers' spent grain.
Newport Station, NS
The Station Food Company purchases produce that would otherwise be treated as waste from local farms, offering fair market value. The company upcycles this produce, creating value-add products such as mashed potatoes and sells them to institutional buyers.
Top Grade Ag is introducing affordable on-farm grain drying to enable the adoption of pro-active harvesting on every farm. The Top Grade Ag bin instrumentation and web-based app provides a real-time dashboard for drying and monitoring tough grain in bin. Not only does this approach reduce losses associated with field drying of broad acre crops, it also saves farmers money.
TriCycle uses a circular economy approach to breed highly nutritious edible insects (for human and animal consumption) by feeding them food waste. The insect frass is transformed into organic fertilizer.
Vivid Machines helps fruit growers "see the invisible" by providing them with a real-time sensor and computer vision system so they can see every plant in detail throughout the entire season. By providing insights enabling early intervention, Vivid helps growers better manage crop loads to prevent quality issues and reduce food loss.
SOURCE Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada