Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Food Waste Reduction Challenge: Business Models

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The results are in!

The winners have been announced!

Together, We Can Reduce Food Waste, Fight Climate Change, and Strengthen Our Food Systems


[Rhythmic, upbeat music starts.]

[Assembly line workers pack boxes of tomatoes. Potatoes tumble down a ramp.] 

Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau: Do you have an idea that can reduce food waste?

[Cookies are pushed down an assembly line. Glass bottles are filled on spinning racks. Foil-wrapped packages are brought up an automated ramp.]

Well, share your project…

[Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau addresses the camera from her kitchen. Text appears beneath her.]

Text on screen: The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
… to the Government of Canada Food Waste Reduction Challenge.

[People work on their computers from home.]
The most innovative concepts…
A woman in a mask presents an idea to a small audience. A woman presents a project while on a video call. A group of masked workers brainstorm together.]

… will compete for a chance to win up to $2 million in prize money.

[A woman working on her computer receives exciting news and cheers.]
We are looking for solutions that are high impact…

[Restaurant and factory workers use tablets to brainstorm. A factory worker watches piles of chips go by on an assembly line.]

… innovative and transformative…

[Factory workers operate with new technologies.]

… ready to scale up…

[A farmer and an engineer in a safety vest walk past rows of crops. Cut to shots of large farm fields from above.]

… good for our environment…

[Trucks harvest potatoes from fields. Cut to an aerial view of a suburban neighbourhood.]

… and beneficial to our communities.

[A tractor makes its way down a dirt field. Text appears next to it.]

Text on screen: The facts are clear
Facts are clear. In Canada, over half of our food supply goes to waste.

[An animation of half of a circle appears. More text appears next to it.]
Text on screen: Over ½ of our food supply is wasted.

And yet, one out of every seven Canadian households live with food insecurity.

[A graphic of a house pops up. More text appears next to it.]
Text on screen: 1/7 households live with food insecurity.

[A montage of Canadian truckers, farmers, scientists, and citizens smile at the camera. The last woman holds a Canadian flag.]

Canadians told us loud and clear that reducing food waste should be part of the first-ever Food Policy for Canada.

[Return to Minister Bibeau addressing the camera in her kitchen.]

[A paper slides over the screen. The Food Waste Reduction cycle graphic rolls out. Text appears beside it.]

Text on screen: Visit for more details

[The cycle graphic flips, revealing the graphic of an animated clock. Ticking sounds are heard. New text appears.]

[Cut to the Canada wordmark. The rhythmic, upbeat music fades out.]


[Animated video.]

[Cinematic music starts with piano chords, acoustic guitar and drum. Gradual build throughout.]

Narrator: This is a call to all you innovators.

[A woman slides to the left side of the screen and raises a megaphone to her mouth. A large speech bubble slides in from the right.]

[Text is revealed letter by letter.]
Text on screen: Calling all innovators! Here’s your challenge...

Narrator: We need to reduce food waste in Canada.

[The woman slides out of frame and the speech bubble takes the full screen.]

[Fresh food falls from the top of the screen and tumbles off the large text.]

[The shot pans down from the large text where wasted food has accumulated all around a garbage bin. The bin tips over to the right and spills its contents into another pile of trash.]

[Sounds of crushed food and leaking juices.]

Narrator: A recent study shows that over half of all food in Canada is wasted.

[The shot pans out to the right where the pile of trash is revealed to be a large mound. Fresh and spoiled food is scattered throughout.]

[Text slides up from behind the mound of trash.]

[Sounds: seagulls.]

Text on screen: Over half of all food is wasted

Narrator: That’s over 50 billion dollars in avoidable food losses every year...

[The shot zooms out and even larger mountains of trash slide in from all sides to form a dump. Food and paper money are scattered throughout.]

[Text slides in from the left between the mountains of trash.]

[Sounds: squealing garbage trucks and large machinery.]
Text on screen: 50 Billion $

Narrator: … meaning tons of greenhouse gas emissions from food that rots in landfills.

[The shot zooms out and the mountains of trash get taller and further.]

[Gasses start billowing up from the landfill to form a large dark cloud.]

[Deformed words appear in the gas cloud.]
Text on screen: Plus tons of GHGs.

Narrator: The impacts are simply too big to ignore.

[The shot zooms in through the clouds and a column chart appears on graph paper.]

Text on screen: Impacts

[Three columns representing the impacts rise up and take on an imposing 3D perspective. They each have a large word on them.]

[Sounds: deap daunting rumble.]

Text on screen: Social. Economic. Environmental.

Narrator: We need solutions at points all along the cycle...

[The graph slides off the screen to the right. The Food Waste Reduction Cycle rolls into frame from the left revealing text. A magnifying glass leans in over the farm icon on the Food Waste Reduction Cycle.]

Text on screen: It’s time to take action...

Narrator: ... from farm to table.

[The Food Waste Reduction Cycle rolls to the left side of the screen hiding the previous text and revealing new words. A magnifying glass leans in over the fork and knife icon on the Food Waste Reduction Cycle.]

Text on screen: ... from farm to table

Narrator: This is a call to our keenest problem solving minds.

[The Food Waste Reduction Cycle rolls out of frame to the right hiding the previous text.]

[A small group of 7 people fades into frame. Gears and speech bubbles appear over their heads. The speech bubbles merge into one and text fades in.]

[Sounds: Small crowd of people discussing amongst themselves.]

Text on screen: We need solutions that are...

Narrator: Step up with your solutions!

[The shot pans up as three lightbulbs race out from behind the crowd and twirl upwards through more gears. They light up and slow down next to three words that come in from the top.]

[Sounds: lightbulbs flickering and buzzing.]

Text on screen: Innovative. High Impact. Transformative.

[The words and lightbulb slide out to the left. The Food Waste Reduction Cycle rolls back into frame from the right revealing two lines of text.]

Narrator: For more information, visit

Text on screen: Food Waste Reduction Challenge. Visit

[The Canada wordmark fades on screen.]

[The music ends. The screen goes black.]

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.

Over 50%

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.

Select your stream

5. About the Challenge Streams

Streams A and B: Business Models

Learn more

Streams C and D: Novel Technologies

Learn 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.

Key Dates

  • 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.