The National Zero Waste Council has engaged Value Chain Management International (VCMI) to undertake new research exploring how food packaging affects the amount of food wasted along the supply chain in Canada.
This national research project seeks to understand the pros and cons of various types of packaging materials and techniques on aspects like freshness, safety, identification, storage and shelf-life. This project, a recommended action in the National Zero Waste Council's A Food Loss and Waste Strategy for Canada, released in 2018, is supported by VanCity, RECYC-QUÉBEC and Éco Entreprises Québec.
"The findings of this research will form the basis of policy recommendations for governments and best practices for businesses in the agriculture, food processing and retail sectors to prevent food loss and waste," said Malcolm Brodie, Chair of the National Zero Waste Council. "As we work to tackle food waste on a national scale, considering how packaging is applied along the entire supply chain will be an important part of the solution."
From meat to fresh produce and seafood, this project will begin where other projects in the US and Europe have left off, toward a made-in-Canada approach to better prevent food loss and waste while supporting sustainable and environmentally sound decision making by all in the supply chain.
"Exploring the current technologies and innovations in the world of packaging and materials is just one of the facets we're studying together with the National Zero Waste Council," said Martin Gooch of VCMI. "We will also investigate business models that can help to shorten supply chains and decrease the need for packaging."
Highlights of this new packaging report, which will be available both in English and in French, will be presented on October 30, 2019 at the annual Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Conference taking place in Vancouver, B.C.
More than a third of food produced and distributed in Canada - valued by VCMI as worth more than $49 billion - never gets eaten, due to loss and waste along the supply chain and within the home. In environmental terms, the carbon footprint of total food loss and waste is greater than the carbon footprint of food consumed.