Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Food Waste Reduction Challenge: Business ModelsBack to all challenges
Together, We Can Reduce Food Waste, Fight Climate Change, and Strengthen Our Food Systems
1. Food Waste
Food Waste refers to all food that is grown, harvested, processed, manufactured or prepared for human consumption, but never eaten by people. It occurs at all stages of the food supply chain, from farm to plate.
In Canada and around the world, food waste continues to increase, resulting in an overuse of our natural resources such as water, soil and land, while contributing excess greenhouse gas emissions to our atmosphere. Meanwhile, a growing number of Canadians are facing food insecurity.
of all food in Canada is wasted every year
of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions is caused by food waste
1 in 7
Canadians suffer from food insecurity
In response, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), under the Food Policy for Canada, is launching the $20M Food Waste Reduction Challenge.
By encouraging more solutions to food waste in Canada, we can increase food availability, save consumers and businesses money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and strengthen our food systems.
2. The Challenge Streams
Food waste is a complex issue, and there is no single solution. That is why the Food Waste Reduction Challenge includes four targeted innovation streams to accelerate and advance the deployment of diverse and high-impact solutions in Canada.
The Food Waste Reduction Challenge is no longer accepting applications. The application deadlines were January 18, 2021 for Streams A & B, and August 31, 2021 for Streams C & D.
- Challenge Stream A: Business models that prevent food waste
- Challenge Stream B: Business models that divert food waste, food by-products and/or surplus food
- Challenge Stream C: Technologies that Extend the Life of Food
- Challenge Stream D: Technologies that Transform Food Waste
Challenge Streams A and B launched together, with innovators competing for monetary and other non-financial prizes over the next three years. The two streams, which support business model solutions that prevent or divert food waste at any point from farm to plate, will have three reporting stages, during which innovators will need to demonstrate the effectiveness of their solution. The most promising solutions will be selected by an external committee of subject-matter experts. Innovators will receive grant funding as well as other benefits to help them succeed.
3. Who Can Apply to a Challenge Stream?
Are you an innovator with a great solution that prevents and/or diverts food waste? Are you trying to advance a technology that can extend the shelf-life of food or transform food waste? If so, the Food Waste Reduction Challenge is for you!
We are looking for innovators of all types and sizes. International applicants with a Canadian partner or an ability to register to do business in Canada are encouraged to apply, as well. Ideas and concepts can originate from anywhere globally, but applicants will be required to test, demonstrate, and deploy their solutions in Canada.
4. Which Challenge Stream Should you Apply to?
Our interactive tool should help you identify which stream is the best fit for your solution.
5. About the Challenge Streams
Streams A and B: Business ModelsLearn more
Streams C and D: Novel TechnologiesLearn more
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: Fall 2023
- 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.