Guelph Panel to Bite into Food Waste

March 14, 2013 - News Release

Food prices in North America and worldwide are on the rise, but Canadian households are wasting more food than ever, throwing out nearly 40 per cent of what they purchase. Experts will discuss how to reduce food waste during a forum at the University of Guelph March 21.

“This isn’t something just for food companies,” said Rene Van Acker, associate dean (external relations) of the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC).

“It is obviously important for industry, but researchers and consumers will also learn at this event. Lowering food waste is something families can do to save food and money.”

The 2013 Food Industry Business Forum will take place in the School of Engineering Atrium in the Thornbrough Building, beginning at 5 p.m., with the panel discussion taking place from 6 to 8 p.m.

The event will bring together a panel of experts, consisting of Tim Faveri, director of sustainability and responsibility, Tim Hortons; Martin Goch, director of the Value Chain Management Centre at the George Morris Centre, an agro-food think tank in Guelph; and Profs. Ralph Martin, Plant Agriculture, and Mike von Massow, Hospitality and Tourism Management. Van Acker will moderate the panel and audience discussion.

The event is organized by OAC and the College of Management and Economics (CME).

Experts expect food prices to jump because of several factors, including climate, energy costs, economic risk and trade.

At the same time, Canadian households are throwing out about 38 per cent of the food they buy, and restaurants are wasting nearly 50 per cent. The 2013 Food Price Index monitored by U of G researchers predicts household food waste will increase to 40 per cent this year.

“We’re seeing that minimizing food waste is vitally important to lower costs,” says Prof. Sylvain Charlebois, CME’s associate dean of research and graduate studies, and the lead author of this year’s food price index.

“With food prices going up, the food industry should consider new models which can provide value to shareholders and consumers alike,” said Charlebois, an expert on food distribution and safety. “We’re bringing together panellists from different fields to give people various perspectives on this issue.”

This forum, including dinner, will cost $60 per person. Profits will be matched by Tim Hortons and donated to Food Banks Canada.

Prof. Sylvain Charlebois
College of Management and Economics
519-824-4120, Ext. 56808

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338,, or Kevin Gonsalves, Ext. 56982,

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1