Building a Circular Food Supply Chain
Food waste is a serious environmental, social and economic issue.
Annually Canadians Waste:
The RCA undertook a project in early 2023 to engage stakeholders in the food rescue supply chain to explore the challenges and opportunities to move away from a linear food value supply chain and adopt a more efficient, circular system in order to get more edible food to families, and non-consumable food to farmers for livestock, or to composting facilities – resulting in less waste sent to landfills.
To facilitate collaboration, the RCA has created a map showing the food rescue organizations across western Canada and the three Territories. Stakeholders in business, agriculture and government will be added.
Significant opportunities exist for businesses, agriculture, all levels of government and a variety of non-profit and charitable organizations supporting vulnerable populations to collaborate, share best practices and resources to support food rescue organizations.
RCA Circular Food Supply Chain Resources:
Minimizing or eliminating altogether, the environmental impact of food waste is critical. Fundamentally, food is an extremely valuable commodity. Recognizing its true value, knowing how much is wasted, resolving challenges, and building on opportunities is a key step in maximizing the value of food. Public education, increased awareness, and collaboration amongst a variety of stakeholders is also critical.
Simply put, we need to move away from a linear food value supply chain where an important commodity like food is wasted and move towards a circular model that increases the amount of food that feeds families to negate an escalating social crisis and less to landfills where it contributes to GHG and an escalating environmental crisis.
Benefits of a more efficient, circular food value supply chain:
- Significantly reduces GHG and methane emissions
- Reduces costs of operating landfills
- Increases amount of compostable matter for agriculture, making farms less dependent on chemical fertilizers
- Fights hunger and food insecurity, but secondary and long-term cultural benefits include working with and supporting diverse communities
- Increased physical and mental health benefits for communities by better access to nutritious food
- Reduced childhood obesity
- Increased nutritional and reduced vitamin deficiencies
- Better academic performance in with children
- Reduced behavioral issues with children
- Increased productivity in our GDP
- Reduction in health care costs
- Increased quality of life via better health and nutrition
- Reduction in generational poverty