Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Food Waste Reduction Challenge: Business ModelsBack to all challenges
External Review Committee Streams A and B
Bob Blumer is a professional gastronaut. He has created and hosted three award-winning TV series that have aired in more than 20 countries, and written seven acclaimed cookbooks. In his books and appearances around the globe, Bob transforms ordinary ingredients into wow-inspiring dishes through simple cooking methods and whimsical presentations that have become his culinary trademark. For the past 10 years Bob has been an official ambassador for Second Harvest, Canada’s largest food rescue organization. In 2019, he was appointed ambassador for Love Food Hate Waste, a Canadian national zero-waste initiative. The transplanted Canadian currently lives in California with his wife Kate who is a museum educator.
Sheena Brady is the founder and CEO of Tease Tea, an all-natural and sustainably sourced loose-leaf tea company that was established in 2013. Over the years, Tease Tea has grown into a seven figure company that serves customers in more than 30 countries. Through its social mission to elevate underrepresented women-identifying entrepreneurs, this Canadian company allocates a portion of the proceeds from every purchase to support related programs. This includes Founders Fund, which Sheena founded in 2019: A four-month digital program that gives women entrepreneurs access to funding, mentorship and resources to grow their businesses. Founders Fund has become Canada’s first digital growth accelerator elevating women entrepreneurs and has since raised over $100,000 in funding support while providing over 500+ founders access to mentorship.
Nella Brodett has a breadth of cross-sector experience working with artificial intelligence (AI), startups, the provincial government, and health technology commercialization. She is the Director of Partnerships at MedStack, a health tech startup. Previously, she was the Director of Investment & Partnerships at the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii). Nella began her career in tech after earning her Bachelor of Commerce from Ryerson University. She enjoys developing lasting relationships to create meaningful change regarding society's most pressing challenges.
Arlene Dickinson (Honorary Member)
Arlene Dickinson is a serial entrepreneur and General Partner of District Ventures Capital, a venture capital fund focused on helping market, fund and grow entrepreneurs and their companies, in the food and health space. She is a three-time best-selling author, podcaster and accomplished public speaker. Arlene is widely recognized for her role as a Dragon/Venture Capitalist for over 12 seasons on the multi-award-winning CBC television series, Dragons Den. Arlene’s leadership has been recognized many times, including Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Hall of Fame, the Pinnacle Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence, as well as PROFIT and Chatelaine’s Top 100 Women Business Owners. She is a Marketing Hall of Legends inductee and a proud recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Award. Arlene has served for many years as an Honourary Captain in the Royal Canadian Navy. She sits on several public and private boards and is actively involved in supporting community and country.
Alejandro Enamorado serves as the Capital and Innovation Manager of ReFED, an American, multi-stakeholder, nonprofit organization committed to reducing food waste by using a data-driven approach. Alejandro works to spur investment in the US food waste sector. In his current role, he is providing product development support for the upcoming 2020 roadmap to reducing food waste (Insights Engine) in the US market, maintaining and building relationships with food waste solution providers and capital providers, and tracking historical investment in the space. He brings six years of technology investment banking, equity research, and sales and trading experience, including time at TD Securities, CI Investments, and RBC Capital Markets.
Dr. Martin Gooch is the CEO of Value Chain Management International, which co-authored Canada’s landmark report, The Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste. His PhD identified ways to motivate farmers and managers of agri-food businesses to successfully adapt to changing market demands through developing close, strategic relationships and innovative business practices. He has 30 years’ of management experience in international agribusiness, and in 2013 Martin received Bayer Inc.’s “Outstanding Canadian” award for his contribution to “Food Chain Partnerships.” He was appointed Adjunct Professor at the College of Business and Economics at the University of Guelph, and in 2017 Martin received the Cory Clack Streef “Produce Person of the Year” award.
Tyler Hennick has built experience in food, technology, and their intersection, with interest in innovation that keeps the sector ecologically and financially sustainable. He is currently a Lead in McCain Foods’s Global Analytics function, where he is helping to enrich insights into the business and market through descriptive and advanced analytics. Tyler’s prior experience spans from farm (Project Management at the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency) to table (Strategic Initiatives at Uber Eats). Tyler holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Masters of Management in Artificial Intelligence, both from Queen’s University.
Jean-Charles Le Vallée
Dr. Le Vallée is the Canadian Country Representative to the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture in Costa Rica. Prior to joining IICA, Jean-Charles was the former head for food research at The Conference Board of Canada, a World Bank food and commodity economist, and Coordinator for Canada's Food Security Bureau. He has extensive international leadership, teaching, research and field experience in over a dozen countries, including on food waste, global food system performance rankings, and diplomacy, working with the FAO, IFPRI, the World Food Prize, USAID, Global Affairs Canada, NGOs and universities such as Cornell and Michigan State.
Matt Livingston is a Principal Consultant for Anthesis Provision where he works to help food and beverage companies on a variety of sustainability initiatives including food waste, sustainable packaging, climate disclosure and on-farm programs. He previously worked as the Sustainability and Stewardship Specialist for Nature’s Path Foods, where he was responsible for leading the company’s sustainability strategies. Matt has also worked as Director of Sustainability at SPUD.ca where his team launched several industry-first and award-winning waste reduction programs. Matt spent his early career in the skateboard industry working as impact manager for B Corp Certified Comet Skateboards where he still serves as an advisor. Matt is also on the management board for the National Zero Waste Council of Canada and a board member for Vancouver based Food Stash foundation which rescues surplus food from grocery stores and redistributes it to families in need.
Lori Nikkel is a visionary leader and a champion of social and environmental justice issues related to food. As CEO of Second Harvest, Lori has pivoted the organization from a local charity distributing fresh healthy food, into a national food support network and international thought leader.Her guidance has changed the way Canada manages food loss and waste, authoring The Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste, a world first evidence-based research project identifying; where, why, and how much food is lost and wasted across the supply chain. In 2020, Lori was globally recognized by the United Nations as Canada’s Food Hero.
Dr. Kate Parizeau is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics at the University of Guelph where she teaches courses on social geography, urban issues, and international development. Her research focuses on waste management practices as a lens through which to integrate complex systems of social organization and human exchanges with the natural world. This focus has allowed her to make contributions to the fields of waste studies, international development studies, and urban studies. Current research includes an investigation of food waste in Ontario, co-led by Dr. Mike von Massow.
Denise Philippe (Chair)
Denise Philippe is a Senior Policy Advisor with Metro Vancouver and the National Zero Waste Council (NZWC). NZWC is an initiative of Metro Vancouver that works collaboratively with business, government and community to prevent waste. Since 2012, Denise has been the Council’s portfolio lead on food loss and waste prevention/reduction and was instrumental in developing A Food Loss and Waste Strategy for Canada. She has been the liaison for the Council’s cross-sector Food Working Group and has led collaborative research projects, including the recent Less Food Loss and Waste, Less Packaging Waste. Denise is a certified professional planner, with a M.Ed. in environmental education.
Dr. Tammara Soma MCIP RPP is an Assistant Professor at the School of Resource and Environmental Management (Planning program) at Simon Fraser University and Research Director of the Food Systems Lab. She conducts research on issues pertaining to food loss and waste (FLW), food system planning, and the circular economy. Dr. Soma is a Co-editor of the Routledge Handbook of Food Waste, and co-founder of the International Food Loss and Food Waste Studies group, a global network of researchers and practitioners. Dr. Soma was selected as a committee member of the US National Academies of Science and co-authored the consensus study A National Strategy to Reduce Consumer Food Waste.
Challenge details: Streams A and B
Who can apply?
- Businesses and social enterprises of any size
- Not-for-profit and charitable organizations
- Indigenous organizations and groups
- Post-secondary/academic institutions
- Individuals or group of individuals
International applicants with a Canadian partner or an ability to register to do business in Canada are encouraged to apply.
- Stage 1 – Concept Application Deadline: January 18, 2021
- Up to 30 Semi-Finalists Announced: Late Winter/Early Spring 2021
- Stage 2 Ends – Up to 12 Finalists Announced: Late Winter/Early Spring 2022
- Stage 3 Ends - Grand Prize Winners Announced: Early 2024
- Up to 30 Semi-Finalists will be selected in Stage 1 and will receive approximately $100,000
- Semi-Finalists will move into Stage 2 and compete for a chance to be a Finalist and receive approximately $400,000
- Up to 12 Finalists will compete in Stage 3 to win one of two Grand Prizes of up to $1,500,000
Note: The number of winners and prize amounts may vary depending on the applications received.