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New forum on cutting waste and growing profits

Oct. 4, 2012, Guelph, ON - In advance of the abundance of food most Canadians will enjoy this Thanksgiving weekend, consider this: one-third of food produced for human consumption (1.3 billion tonnes) is wasted along the food chain annually (The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2011). To put this in perspective, the entire world’s grain production for 2011/12 is estimated at 2.3 billion tons.

In Canada alone, an estimated $27 billion of food is wasted annually.  It is not just the products that are lost; it is the energy, water, packaging and human resources used in production, transportation, retailing/food service and home storage. With rotting food negatively impacting the environment by creating greenhouse gases, the true implications of food waste are enormous.

A report to accompany the upcoming business forum Cut Waste, Grow Profits is being released today by the Value Chain Management Centre.  This paper identifies the causes of food waste along the value chain, along with examples of actions and programs already being used to reduce and manage this crisis.  The paper can be found at http://www.valuechains.ca/whitepapers.htm

Martin Gooch, Director of the Value Chain Management Centre stated, “The report and subsequent forum is not about apportioning blame or reinventing the wheel. We are facilitating an informed discussion to identify how the Canadian economy and environment can benefit from adapting and improving upon current approaches for reducing food waste.”

Confirmed speakers include Andrew Telfer, Walmart Canada; Anne Tennier, Maple Leaf Foods; Professor Ralph Martin, Loblaws Chair in Sustainable Food Production (University of Guelph); Dr. Keivan Zokaei, S A Partners and the University of Buckingham (UK); Michael Bloom, Conference Board of Canada; Maria Klimas, Senior Project Manager, Sustainability Consulting, GFTC.

About The Value Chain Management Centre

The Value Chain Management Centre is the only Canadian organization dedicated to researching value chain issues and opportunities, and assisting businesses implement value chain initiatives.  It is a subsidiary of the George Morris Centre, a national, independent, economic research institute that focuses on the agriculture and food industry. Areas of research include:  trade, regulation, food safety, market analysis, agricultural research, environment, competitiveness and corporate strategy.