Building a Research Agenda for Reducing Food Waste in Ontario

Logo for Agri-Food and Rural Link

This website catalogues the outcomes from a workshop held on February 18-19, 2016, hosted by the Guelph Food Waste Research Group

example of food waste - leafy greens, vegetables, and fruit.

Workshop Overview

What is food waste?

  • Food waste refers to the spoilage of edible foodstuffs intended for human consumption. Food waste occurs across the value chain, from harvest to consumption, for various reasons.  Management systems that address diverted food waste can often be used to recover energy and nutrients from other organic wastes as well, including food scraps.

What was the purpose of this workshop?

  • To contribute to a research agenda on food waste across the value chain in Ontario, and to contribute to policy conversations on the regulation and management of food waste.

Who was invited to this workshop?

  • Actors across the food value chain who manage food and waste, including producers, processors, transporters, retailers, restaurants / caterers, municipal waste managers, and food recovery organizations;
  • Policy makers who influence decisions about food waste at the municipal and provincial scales; and
  • Individuals and organizations who conduct research on food and waste systems. 

What are your research interests? Building a Research Agenda for Food Waste in Ontario

Building a Research Aganda for Food Waste in Ontario - Workshop Agenda


Setting the stage: Introductory address

Graphic representation of the title "System Mapping"




8 priority areas for action:

  • Reduce consumer and non-consumer food wastes
  • Improve household food literacy 
  • Optimize portion size and packaging (retail and restaurant sectors)
  • Clarify and improve food labeling (e.g. best before dates)
  • Incorporate imperfect foods 
  • Increase food diversion for human consumption 
  • Recover food waste for non-human use (e.g. feed, composting) 
  • Coordinate policy and governance 

Tracking Food Waste

Titles for 4 Presentations: Love Food Hate Waste - Peter Cech; Food Waste: Challenges & Opportunities - Steve Creed; Food Isn't Garbage!! - Andrew Marr; Innovative Projects for Sustainable Solutions to Food Insecurity - Jonathan Rodrigue

Panel Discussion: “Building multi-sectoral solutions for food waste:
lessons from other jurisdictions”