Food In Canada

Cities call for federal tax incentive to cut food waste

By By Carol Neshevich   

Food In Canada Sustainability food waste National Zero Waste Council

A number of major Canadian cities have come out in support of a federal tax incentive aimed at decreasing food waste

A number of major Canadian cities have recently passed – or will be tabling in the coming days – resolutions in support of a federal tax incentive aimed at encouraging food producers and retailers to divert edible food from landfills to Canadian charities.

Cities that have passed or are tabling the motion include the City of North Vancouver, Burnaby, Township of Langley, Edmonton, Halifax, Richmond, Ottawa, Toronto and Calgary.

The resolution advances a proposal developed by the National Zero Waste Council (NZWC) that “urges the Government of Canada to implement tax incentives for food producers, suppliers and retailers to donate unsold edible food, thereby, reducing unnecessary food waste, decreasing disposal cost to municipalities, reducing the environmental impact of food waste and addressing the issue of hunger and poverty in our communities.”

“This is a timely measure,” says Malcolm Brodie, chair of the National Zero Waste Council and Mayor of Richmond, B.C. “Similar to fiscal incentives introduced in the United States and Spain, our proposal would help further address the problem of organic waste, save municipalities money and provide a range of economic, environmental and social benefits.”


According to the National Zero Waste Council, research shows that a modest tax incentive could divert larger volumes of food away from landfills, helping Canadian cities to better prevent waste, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions and food insecurity.

“While the tax incentive would not address the systemic causes of poverty and food insecurity, it’s one of a suite of tools needed to prevent the waste of edible food,” says Mike Layton, a Toronto city councillor and member of the National Zero Waste Council Food Working Group, which developed the draft motion.

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