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Food Waste Waste, Food#b51b10before-red

What We're Doing

Council Sets a Framework for Canada

The fight against food loss and waste (FLW) calls for a systems approach to change combines policy and practice.

The National Zero Waste Council has responded with A Food Loss and Waste Strategy for Canada (Français). This guide for collaborative action was developed through extensive consultation with the Canadian agri-food sector, government and community organizations, as well as international food loss and waste leaders.

The strategy uses the waste hierarchy and circular economy principles to prioritize action throughout the value chain. Attention is paid to points of production, processing and distribution, where food loss and waste is highest, taking into consideration the challenges of Canada’s vast geography and sparse population centres. The strategy also recognizes the important links between food loss and climate change.

Recommendation highlights from the report include:

  • Increased measurement and monitoring
  • Changes to date labelling
  • Processing that rethinks food product types, considers packaging needs, and embraces innovative technology that captures value from FLW
  • Removal of barriers to heighten recovery of surplus food through gleaning and charitable networks
  • Elimination of financial, legal and policy obstacles surrounding food donations



Climate Change

Food Waste and Climate Connection

Food waste generates greenhouse gas emissions from the methane emissions from landfills. Learn more about how a national strategy of coordinated policy can address food waste impacts on climate change, and help Canada meet its 2030 target (Paris Climate Accord). See our 2016 federal government submission Reducing food waste & cutting Canada’s carbon emissions: Policies for reaping the environmental, economic and social benefits and our commissioned research 2017 Executive Summary and Technical Report.

Measuring and Monitoring Strategies

The Council encourages measuring and monitoring as a critical step in addressing FLW. See our 2019 endorsement of a commitment to measure and monitor made by eight large Canadian retailers and manufacturers endorsed a commitment.

Effective measurement and monitoring requires a shared language to communicate results, and an agreement to measure the same types of food. The Council promotes the use of the World Resources Institute (WRI) Protocol (Français), which provides definitions and measurement guidelines.

The Council recommends methods for measuring residential food waste that align with the FLW protocol. These recommendations are designed for local and provincial governments, and academic researchers on How to Measure Food Waste.

Resources For Knowledge-sharing on Food Loss and Waste Prevention

The Council provides webinars and workshops where discussions about best practices and policy changes for the prevention of FLW take place. Peer-to-peer learning through hosted guest speakers, group discussions, as well as tool kits featuring fact sheets, best practice recommendations, legal interpretations, are all provided for business and government stakeholders throughout the food value chain. In some instances, the Council uses campaign tools and collaborative advocacy to encourage food loss and waste solutions.

Date Labelling Workshop and Resources

A workshop for processors explored the impact of date labelling on food loss and waste. Considerations were given to emerging policy changes and how businesses and governments can support date labelling changes. Featured guest speakers included Simone Weinstein (Provision Coalition) and Jackie Suggitt (ReFED). See the Summary of the Discussions.

Food Donation Workshops, Fact Sheets and Legal Interpretations

Our Guidelines to Minimize Wasted Food and Facilitate Food (Français) help inform food manufacturers, retailers, and community organizations on how to best donate or receive nutritious food that would otherwise go to waste. Our workshops offered guidelines and legal interpretations of different provincial Good Samaritan Acts Food Donation and Civil Liability in Canada (Français) – the latter are important for industry donors who may have concerns around the legal liability of donating food. Our fact sheets offer easy-to-understand information about what to donate and how.


Food Bank

Advocacy Campaign for Fiscal Incentives

Providing a platform for municipalities and businesses to come together and advocate for fiscal incentives that reduce FLW has been important. FAQs, backgrounders, and research provided by the Conference Board of Canada Study of Organic Waste Reduction: Tax Incentive Options for Charitable Food Donations campaign elements.

Our 2016 campaign for a federal tax incentive to reduce food waste won the formal individual support of 22 local governments, nationwide, and finally the full support of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Carefully designed as a tax credit or deduction, a simple incentive could offset the costs of operational changes required to separate, store and/or transport nutritious food to registered charities. Additional programs and investments are needed to further facilitate the transfer of nutritious food, by supporting shared cold storage, value-added processing, internet platforms that quickly connect donors and recipients.

Communicating with Consumers

Consumers are part of the food value chain, and contribute to food waste. The Council and core partners lead a national, consumer-facing food waste reduction campaign: Love Food Hate Waste Canada / J’aime manger pas gaspiller Canada.

Visit Love Food Hate Waste Canada for simple tips and ideas to help you reduce food waste at home.