Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Under the Food Policy for Canada
Food Waste Reduction Challenge
Globally, food waste accounts for 8% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, largely from edible food decomposing in landfills. In Canada, more than half of our food supply is wasted every year - that’s over $50 billion in avoidable food waste. Solving the problem of food waste is complex and needs a variety of solutions. That is why the Challenge will include four targeted innovation streams to accelerate and advance the deployment of diverse and high-impact solutions to food waste in Canada.
Solutions can focus on preventing or diverting food waste at any point from farm to plate and should aim to make a dramatic and measurable reduction in food waste. Challenge Streams A and B are expected to begin accepting applications in the fall of 2021. Challenge Streams C and D are still under development with an anticipated launch of Spring 2022.
Four Challenge Streams
Challenge Streams A and B, are expected to accept applications beginning in the fall. These streams will support solutions that are ready for commercialization and that provide an innovative way of doing business (i.e. a new business model) to prevent or divert food waste across any or multiple segments of the food supply chain. These streams target solutions in their early commercialization phase to accelerate their growth and expansion in the Canadian market. Successful solutions will have a high impact in reducing the volume of food waste in absolute (total volume of food saved) or relative terms (percentage of food saved).
Challenge Streams C and D, will be launched in Spring 2022 and will focus on investments in technologies at the prototyping and testing phases to improve their effectiveness and make them ready for the Canadian market within the next two years.
Ideas and concepts can originate from anywhere globally, but to receive funding from the challenge, the solutions presented in the submissions must be developed, tested, piloted, demonstrated and deployed in Canada. In order to meet the eligibility requirements, solutions must be aimed at leveraging innovation to achieve specific outcomes tied to reducing food loss and waste as identified in the following challenge statements:
Stream A – Business Models that Prevent Food Waste
Accelerate and scale the deployment of innovative solutions that prevent food waste across the food supply chain.
Stream B – Business Models that Divert Food Waste
Accelerate and scale the deployment of innovative solutions that create value from food waste, food by-products and/or surplus food.
Solutions need to meet the objectives of the challenge statements defined above. Solutions have to be scalable and applicable to numerous end users. Solutions that are limited to a specific end user (e.g. one organization developing a solution to exclusively reduce its own food waste) will not be accepted. If you have started working on your solution prior to this challenge, you are still eligible to apply, but your application should consider and reflect how you can improve the effectiveness, competitiveness and reach of your solution.
As part of the challenge, activities implemented by participants could include, but are not limited to: development, prototyping, piloting and demonstration of solutions that support the reduction of food waste; partnership building, customer acquisition, and market growth activities; capacity building activities; and any other implementation activities to meet the objectives of the challenge statements.
Program details and timeline are not yet confirmed. This information will be updated when the program launches.
Eligible applicants to the challenge include the following:
- Businesses or other for-profit organizations incorporated in Canada;
- Not-for-profit organizations incorporated in Canada;
- Indigenous organizations and groups located in Canada;
- Post-secondary/academic institutions located in Canada;
- Individuals or groups of individuals based in Canada (see below for more info);
- Non-Canadian individuals and entities (see below for more info).
Individual innovators or groups are encouraged to submit an application to the challenge, but in order to be eligible to receive funding, they will be required to establish a Canadian legal entity (such as a company or a corporation or a not-for-profit organization) capable of entering into binding agreements in Canada.
Non-Canadian individuals and entities are encouraged to submit an application to the challenge, but in order to be eligible to receive funding, they will be required to establish a legal entity (such as a company or a corporation or a not-for-profit organization) capable of entering into binding agreements in Canada. They may also be part of a partnership or consortium submitting a proposal as long as the applicant organization submitting the application meets the above criteria.
Up to $10.8 million in total will be awarded to semi-finalists, finalists and winners under Streams A and B of the challenge:
Prizes by Stage
- Up to 30 Semi-Finalists will be selected in Stage 1 and will receive approximately $100,000 (Stage duration: 2 months)
- Semi-Finalists will move into Stage 2 and compete for a chance to be a Finalist and receive approximately $400,000 (Stage duration: 8 months)
- Up to 12 Finalists will compete in Stage 3 to win one of two Grand Prizes of up to $1,500,000 (Stage duration 1 year)
Please note that research activities carried out in the context of COVID-19 need to adhere to the University of Guelph COVID-19 research principles, policies, guidelines and processes as they may be updated from time to time and communicated on the Office of Research web-page.
If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.
How to Apply
Applications must be submitted online, using the application form provided on the Food Waste Reduction challenge website. Please also submit an OR-5 and a copy of the completed application to email@example.com by the external deadline.