Government of Canada launches Food Waste Reduction Challenge
While speaking at the Arrell Food Summit, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, launched the first two streams of the Government of Canada's Food Waste Reduction Challenge, part of the Food Policy for Canada.
According to estimates, more than half of Canada's food supply is wasted annually and $49.5 billion of that wasted food is avoidable. Food is wasted from farm to plate, through production, processing, distribution, retail, food-service and at home.
Challenge Streams A and B are open for concept applications with a closing date of January 18, 2021. Up to $10.8 million will be awarded to innovators with a new business model that can prevent or divert food waste at any point from farm-to-plate.
The Food Waste Reduction Challenge will use a stage-gated approach to move innovators through the process of developing and deploying their solutions. At each stage of the challenge, an external group of subject matter experts will recommend which applicants move to the following stage and receive funding. For Challenge Streams A and B, at the last stage, one winner per stream will be awarded a grand prize of up to $1.5 million.
Funding will be awarded to those whose innovative solutions have the potential of reducing the most amount of food waste, with a focus on new innovators looking to accelerate and grow their solutions and who may not have the necessary resources. The launch of two additional challenge streams focused on technological solutions to food waste is planned for spring 2021. Challenge Streams C and D will support technologies that can extend the life of food or transform food that would otherwise be lost or wasted.
Traditionally, waste management companies have operated using a simple "management of waste" approach to operating a MRF. Throughput targets and continuous operation (minimal downtime) were the main driving forces. The industry has changed however, and the focus moving forward is now on optimizing system performance and reliability, in conjunction with increasing recycling rates and a drive for a "greener" and more sustainable tomorrow.
When considering the addition of, or upgrade to, an "intelligent" MRF, for municipalities or private operators, the main factors should always be the client's (operator) current requirements, and evolving market needs, which include throughput, reliability, output quality, and adaptability. Equally important is a full understanding of what is really expected from any proposed system. Having an engaged and focused mindset for the project with the client from the beginning, will impact and drive the entire design process. This then impacts the overall project result, through to the productive, efficient, ongoing operation of the facility itself.