Federal govt. grants Outcast Foods funding upto $1.5 M to address food waste
Earlier this week, Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal agriculture and agri-food minister, announced up to $1.5 million in funding for Outcast Foods to expand their operations in food waste reduction. Outcast upcycles surplus and unsaleable fruits and vegetables from growers, processors and retailers into dried, plant-based powders and solid food ingredients.
The funding will help support the expansion of their demonstration plant in Dartmouth, N.S., and commission a new full-scale facility in Burlington, Ont. Together the two plants are projected to process up to 35,800,000 tonnes of waste fruit and vegetables by 2024 into more than 4,100,000 million lb of plant-based, powdered ingredients annually, a conversion rate of approximately 12 per cent. The plant-based ingredients created at these facilities are sold as branded health products as well as raw food and beverage ingredients that are high in nutrition, vitamins, phytochemicals and natural flavours.
“Canadian food researchers are globally recognized innovators in sustainable development and food waste reduction. The transformation of unsellable fruits and vegetables into high-quality plant-based powders will generate additional revenue streams for agricultural producers. Through tackling greenhouse gas emissions produced by food waste while developing healthy products, the program will be win-win for Canadian agriculture,” said Bibeau.
“This funding gives us the capacity to continue to chart a path as leaders in the upcycling movement. We are scaling our operation, developing our inbound supply network with Canadian farmers, and growing our ingredients and retail sales pipelines. This funding not only supports operations but also sales, marketing, and talent recruitment,” said Dan McKenn, CEO, Outcast Foods.
This announcement is part of the federal government’s efforts to strengthen Canada’s food system at every step—from sustainable food production and processing to strong local food infrastructure and less food waste. Investments in innovation and technology are helping secure the vitality of the sector for generations to come.