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Canadian food waste reduction challenge identifies 24 semi-finalists


May 18, 2021
By Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

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Screenshot: AAFC website

Ottawa has announced the 24 semi-finalists in the $20-million Food Waste Reduction Challenge.

An initiative under the Food Policy for Canada, the Challenge was launched in November 2020 to accelerate and advance diverse and high-impact solutions to food waste in Canada. Two streams, A and B focus on business model solutions that can prevent or divert food waste at any point from farm to plate.

“The benefits of reducing our food waste are enormous, from reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing food availability, to saving consumers and businesses money. Through the Food Waste Reduction Challenge, we are empowering entrepreneurs as they work hard to advance innovative solutions to tackle this important issue. Congratulations to all of the participants for bringing fresh ideas to the table, and to the semi-finalists as you move to the next stage of development,” says Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

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This first round of the Challenge attracted 343 applications from innovators across Canada and around the world. The 24 semi-finalists’ entries span a diverse range of areas including production, inventory management, transportation, food waste measurement, marketplace solutions, food safety, food recovery, upcycling, and organic waste treatment.

Each semi-finalist will receive $100,000 and move on to the market demonstration stage of the Challenge. Over the next eight months, semi-finalists will pilot their solutions in Canada through rigorous testing, evaluation and reporting on their solution’s effectiveness. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will then select up to 12 finalists for Streams A and B. Each finalist will receive up to an additional $400,000, with one winner per stream awarded a grand prize of up to $1.5 million.

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, Canadians can increase food availability, save consumers and businesses money and strengthen their food systems, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

An external review committee, composed of subject matter experts from a diverse range of backgrounds, reviews solutions and recommends winners at each stage of the challenge. 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.

Abokichi Inc.

 

Hamilton, ON Upcycling okara, the pulp remaining after tofu or soymilk production, to divert food waste into nutritious flour, noodles and other baked goods.

 

Blanc de gris –  Champignons frais

 

Montreal, QC Uses brewers’ spent grain as a substrate for the cultivation of gourmet mushrooms.

 

Circular Innovation Council

 

Orangeville, ON Improving the collection and recovery of edible food waste from the institutional, commercial and industrial sectors.
CryoLogistics Refrigeration Technologies Ltd. Victoria, BC Developing autonomous refrigerated shipping containers powered by liquid CO2 with real-time remote monitoring and data logging capabilities.

 

Enersion Inc.

 

Toronto, ON Portable, rechargeable cold boxes that provide cooling through storage and transportation of food, for an extended duration without consuming electricity.

 

Food Cycle Sciences Corporation

 

Cornwall, ON Provides food waste recycling solutions to consumers, businesses, and municipalities to help them keep food waste out of landfills and reduce the greenhouse gas impact of food waste.

 

 

Food for Life Canada

 

Burlington, ON Rescuing surplus food, sharing goodness with community, and returning inedible food and soiled cardboard to the earth through composting and vermiculture.

 

Green Circle Food Hub Ltd.

 

Orono, ON Selling 100% of food from small farms before it is harvested.
LOOP Juices Inc. / Jus LOOP Inc.

 

Montreal, QC Aims to assist various food companies in acquiring upcycled fruits and vegetables by transforming these foods into easily usable ingredients that have a long shelf life, such as dehydrated powder, frozen cubes and pasteurized purees.

 

NuLeaf Farms Calgary, AB A vertical farm platform to convert existing warehouse space into automated indoor farms to grow sustainable, local food inside our communities all year-round.

 

nutriSCOPE Inc.

 

Woodbridge, ON Connects the supply chain to a digital ecosystem that enables transparency, traceability, trust and supports demand forecasting in order to optimize operations and minimize food waste.

 

Outcast Foods Inc.

 

Halifax, NS Using fruit and vegetable surplus and by-products to manufacture dehydrated nutrient dense powders and pieces as well as its own sustainable plant-based supplements.

 

P&P Optica Inc.

 

Waterloo, ON Combines hyperspectral imaging and artificial intelligence in a unique way to assess food quality and find foreign materials like plastics, rubber and bone.

 

Satellite Farms Inc. Toronto, ON Streamlines the process of setting up, operating, and scaling technology-driven indoor farms in urban spaces.

 

Savormetrics Inc.

 

Mississauga, ON Provides artificial intelligence-driven sensor systems that empower the food/ag industry to reduce waste and meet quality standards by growing, moving or processing inventory using predictive quality metrics.

 

Still Good Inc. /Toujours Bon Inc.

 

Montreal, QC Technology that transforms brewers’ spent grains into flour to be sold as well as used in the company’s current line of upcycled products.
Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery Inc.

 

Burnaby, BC FoodX Technologies, a subsidiary of SPUD.ca, has created an inventory control and quality assurance (ICQA) tool that leverages data and automation to manage food quality and reduce waste in grocery.

 

The Station Food Company (2019) Ltd.

 

Newport Station, NS Upcycles unharvested produce into frozen vegetables and fruit puree scoops.
Top Grade Ag

 

Calgary, AB In bin drying (IBD) monitoring system and grain storage monitoring system.

 

TrendiTech Inc.

 

(formerly Trendy Vending Inc.)

 

Burnaby, BC A mobile processing unit, called BioTrim, turns misfit or excess food ingredients into a shelf-stable, nutrient-dense commodity.

 

TriCycle Inc.

 

Montreal, QC Producing high-quality edible insects in a circular economy for human and animal consumption in order to transform food waste into sustainable proteins and fertilizers.

 

Vivid Machines Inc.

 

Toronto, ON A spectral imaging sensor and computer vision system that captures plant data and provides insights on fruit/vegetable quality, pests, diseases, yield, and resource management.

 

Winnow Solutions Ltd.

 

Toronto, ON Building artificial intelligence tools to help chefs run more profitable and sustainable kitchens by cutting food waste in half. A UK-based company that is setting up operations in Canada to scale its solution.

 

Wisely Foods Inc.

 

Montreal, QC Taking a stand to reduce food waste by turning perfectly imperfect food into delicious and nutritious products.

To view more information on the semi-finalists, go to the Food Waste Reduction Challenge website.