In 2017, the National Zero Waste Council undertook a robust stakeholder engagement process involving over 900 stakeholders through webinars, workshops, interviews, and an online survey. See details below.
Update on What We Heard
The majority of stakeholders supported a national strategy and urged the National Zero Waste Council to continue leading as a powerful convener for the initiative, which aims to yield significant economic, social, and environmental benefits across Canada.
Based on innovative and tried-and-tested policies and practices around the globe, the draft National Food Waste Reduction Strategy was built on three pillars: policy change, innovation and behavior change. The actions under each pillar were intended to work together to tackle food waste challenges at all levels of the supply chain across Canada from farm to consumer.
Strong support was given to the policy and behavior change elements of the Strategy with stakeholders looking to take action on 'best before dates', the development of a national consumer campaign, and communications materials supporting nutritious food donations. Most respondents also recommended prioritizing upstream, or top of the waste hierarchy, activities.
The tax incentive initially proposed by the Council in 2015 to support donated food to charities received mixed reviews. Most supporters agreed with the move in principle, but more needs to be done to educate retailers about surplus food and alleviate concerns that a tax incentive might bring unintended consequences, including straining the existing receiving infrastructure in place in most organizations.
An updated national strategy has now been developed, titled
A Food Loss and Waste Strategy for Canada
The original draft strategy was previously submitted to the federal government. See below for that 2016 submission. The Council has also actively contributed to the emerging
A Food Policy for Canada
. The Council is working hard to ensure that food loss and waste is being addressed in other national policy initiatives, while continuing to move forward with contemporary and cutting-edge recommendations for FLW action by leaders in government, business and civil society.