Second Harvest is working with Value Chain Management International (VCMI) on a huge project about food loss and waste.
The Walmart Foundation is providing funds for the first study of its type and degree in the world. It takes an entire Canadian food chain perspective, from farmers to consumers.
It includes Canada’s broad food and beverage industry- from fruits to vegetables, from milk and dairy products to meat, from grains and oilseeds to sugars and syrups, from beverages to seafoods.
“The purpose of the study is to establish a framework and metrics that businesses operating in the farming, processing, retail and foodservice sectors can use to:
- understand where losses are likely to occur and identify ways to improve their performance and profitability by reducing losses and waste,” Second Harvest said in a news release.
“The team will achieve this by collecting data that will allow an accurate estimate of food loss and waste occurring at discrete points along the value chain and evaluating the comparative impact of root causes.
“The project will also estimate losses that occur during the redistribution of rescued and donated food, for example in foodbanks.”
When they are finished, the research team says it will be able to:
- calculate the total amount of food available for human consumption in Canada.
- identify where, how and why waste occurs along the chain.
- identify potential root-cause solutions to reduce the percentage of Canadian food sent to landfill – by proposing improved redistribution, reuse and recycling practices.
- identify greater opportunities for food to be recovered and distributed to people who are food insecure.
All this “will culminate in the production and dissemination of a manual of scalable and sustainable solutions for addressing and preventing food waste.”
The team intends to survey between 800 and 1,000 people involved in the entire value chain and across Canada.
The team expects to have the study done by the end of this year.