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.
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.
Food waste is a complex issue, and there is no single solution. That is why the Food Waste Reduction Challenge will include four complementary innovation streams. We know there are many great innovators out there who have high-impact solutions to tackle food waste throughout our food systems. Through the Challenge, we want to support innovators to establish and grow their solution in Canada.
Try our interactive tool to help you identify which stream is the best fit for your solution.
We are accepting applications for Challenge Streams A and B until January 18, 2021:
- 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
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.
Streams A and B - Stages
Applicants will move through three stages to compete for the grand prize.
- Stage 1 - Concept Application: Challenge Streams A and B are launched, and application intake begins on November 19, 2020, lasting until January 18, 2021.
- Stage 2 - Market Demonstration Results: Beginning in Spring 2021, Semi-Finalists selected in Stage 1 will move on to Stage 2, where they will need to demonstrate the success of their solutions with an implementation partner in Canada over an eight-month period.
- Stage 3 - Grow and Scale in Market: At this stage, Finalists selected in Stage 2 will grow and scale up their solutions in Canada over a one-year period starting in Spring 2022 and will be competing to be one of the Grand Prize Winners of the Challenge.
- The Grand Prize Winners for The Food Waste Reduction Challenge – Streams A and B will be announced in Summer 2023.
Who Can Apply to a Challenge Stream?
Are you an innovator with a great solution that prevents and/or diverts food waste? Or 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 inviting innovators of all types and sizes to apply to one of the four streams of the Food Waste Reduction Challenge. International applicants with a Canadian partner or an ability to register to do business in Canada are encouraged to apply. Ideas and concepts can originate from anywhere globally, but to receive funding under the Challenge, the solutions presented in the submissions must be developed, tested, piloted, demonstrated, and deployed in Canada.
We are currently accepting applications for Challenge Streams A and B. Application intake for these streams closes January 18, 2021. Please see the Applicant Guide for more eligibility details. Applications for Streams C and D will open in Spring 2021.
Applicants to Streams A or B will compete for a chance to win:
- Up to 30 prizes of $100,000
- Up to 12 prizes of $400,000
- Up to 2 prizes of $1,500,000