Second Harvest completes two-year Food Loss and Waste Implementation Project
Food in CanadaFood In Canada Sustainability Food Loss Implementation Project Second Harvest Walmart
The project, funded by the Walmart Foundation was carried out in partnership with Anthesis and Enviro-Stewards.
Second Harvest completed its two-year Food Loss and Waste Implementation Project, funded by the Walmart Foundation. This project included food loss and waste technical implementation support, change management and goal-setting consulting, and redistribution support for 20 large-scale Canadian companies in the food processing and manufacturing sector.
In total, this project in partnership with Anthesis and Enviro-Stewards, successfully prevented 3,109,433 kg/year of food loss and waste. An infographic summarizing the results of this project can be found here.
“Second Harvest has helped identify sustainable solutions that have the potential to advance food loss and waste practices across the food industry,” said Naomi Gunnell, director of Walmart.org’s Healthier Food for All initiative. “We’re excited about how this work demonstrates that philanthropy can catalyze cross-sector innovation to realize positive social, environmental and economic sustainability.”
Although staffing shortages and the COVID-19 pandemic posed challenges to some waste reduction implementation efforts, the project’s food redistribution goal was still surpassed by seven per cent, directly rescuing 100,295 kg of surplus edible food.
In Canada, 58 per cent of food produced for Canadians is lost or wasted every year, of which 47 per cent, or 16.77 million metric tonnes, comes from processing and manufacturing. When this food ends up in landfill, it generates 56.5 million metric tonnes of CO2e emissions, contributing significantly to climate change. While this good, healthy food is lost, nearly one in six Canadian families face food insecurity and struggle to access nutrition and put food on the table.
“It’s been an incredibly rewarding process to work with these companies in preventing food loss and waste. As a food rescue organization, we are laser-focused on ensuring no good food goes to waste, but prevention at source remains the most important tool to manage the global food and environmental crises we’re facing,” said Lori Nikkel, CEO of Second Harvest. “The work from this project has redirected a significant amount of food to non-profits and community food programs and represents exactly the kind of industry-wide collaboration on measurement, management and prevention that is needed.”
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