​A Food Loss and Waste Workshop on Date Labelling

June 7, 2018, Vancouver, BC

 

More than a third of food produced and distributed in Canada never gets eaten, with significant economic, environmental, and social consequences. Changes to date labelling is a simple, effective way to reduce food waste – and can be tackled by collaborative action across the value chain.

Non-standardized food labels in Canada are causing confusion amongst consumers, and contribute to food loss and waste (FLW) throughout the supply chain including at the point of processing, manufacturing, retail and consumption. The Consumer Goods Forum along with Champions 12.3 have issued a call to action to simplify date labels and reduce food waste by 2020, advocating for the use of only one label at a time, two labels with specific wording to choose from, and consumer education to better understand what the date labels mean.

How are Canadian businesses and government agencies responding to this call for action? What changes are being considered in the Canadian context that might best align with action taking place in other jurisdictions including the US? How can date labelling changes be accelerated in Canada, and what is needed by businesses and governments to support implementation? Are there local leaders that have experience with implementing changes within their supply chains and what can we learn from them? These questions and more were explored in this workshop, as part of a strategic, collaborative initiative in support of date labelling changes in Canada.

The workshop featured presentations by the National Zero Waste Council, Simone Weinstein, with Provision Coalition and Jackie Suggitt with ReFED.

 Summary of the Discussion