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What We're Doing

​​​​​​​ Council Sets a Framework for Canada

The fight against food loss and waste (FLW) calls for a systems approach to change that combines policy and practice.

The National Zero Waste Council has responded with A Food Loss and Waste Strategy for Canada. This guide for collaborative action was developed through extensive consultation with the Canadian agri-food sector, government, community organizations, and international FLW leaders.

Food Loss and Waste Strategy

Attention is paid to points of production, processing and distribution, where FLW is highest. The Strategy considers the challenges of Canada’s vast geography and sparse population centres, and the links between FLW and climate change.

Recommendation highlights from the report include:

  • Increased measurement and monitoring
  • Changes to date labelling
  • Processing that rethinks food product types, considers packaging needs, and embraces innovative technology
  • Removal of barriers to surplus food recovery through gleaning and charitable networks
  • Elimination of financial, legal and policy obstacles surrounding food donations

Current Initiatives

Love Food Hate Waste

The Council and core partners lead a national, consumer-facing food waste reduction campaign. ​Visit Love Food Hate Waste Canada for simple tips and ideas to help you reduce food waste at home.

Circular Food Hubs: Mainland Nova Scotia

The National Zero Waste Council’s work on food loss and waste, and circular food systems, has led to the identification of place-based circular food hubs as critical to advancing a circular food system in Canada. A circular food hub connects stakeholders across the food system to ensure food loss and waste is prevented by following circular economy principles of designing out waste and pollution, circulating resources, and regenerating natural systems.

In collaboration with Circular Opportunity Innovation Launchpad (COIL), Halifax Regional Municipality, Halifax Food Policy Alliance​​, and others, the Council is leading support for the development of food hubs in mainland Nova Scotia that integrate circularity and food loss and waste (FLW) prevention. Insights from this project will be reported out from Nova Scotia to leverage key learnings and facilitate peer-to-peer engagement for place-based circular food hub development across Canada.

Explore upcoming events and project resources.

Love Food Hate Waste Canada  

Circular Food Systems

As a founding member of Circular Economy Leadership Canada, the National Zero Waste Council is part of the Circular Food Systems work stream

The Council collaboratively produced a research report, Circular Food Solutions in Canada: A Coast to Coast Landscape Scan. This report presents snapshots of circular food system solutions found in Canada, focusing mostly on examples which have not previously been profiled in published resources. A follow-up virtual workshop with key stakeholders from across Canada was held to explore the opportunities and challenges to accelerating a circular transition in Canadian food systems. Explore the workshop recordings and resources.

Climate Change

Food Waste and Climate Connection

Food waste generates greenhouse gas emissions through methane emissions from landfills. Learn more about how a national strategy of coordinated policy can address food waste impacts on climate change, and help Canada meet its 2030 target (Paris Climate Accord).

Measuring and Monitoring Strategies

The Council encourages measuring and monitoring as a critical step in addressing FLW. See our 2019 endorsement of a commitment to measure and monitor made by eight large Canadian retailers and manufacturers.

Effective measurement and monitoring require a shared language to communicate results, and an agreement to measure the same types of food. The Council promotes the use of the World Resources Institute (WRI) Protocol (Français), which provides definitions and measurement guidelines.

The Council recommends methods for measuring residential food waste that align with the FLW protocol. These recommendations are designed for local and provincial governments and academic researchers on how to measure food waste.

Resources for Knowledge-Sharing on Food Loss and Waste Prevention

The Council provides webinars and workshops to facilitate discussions about best practices and policy changes for the prevention of FLW. Peer-to-peer learning happens through guest speakers and group dialogue. Tool kits featuring fact sheets, best practice recommendations and legal interpretations are provided for business and government stakeholders from throughout the food value chain. In some instances, the Council uses campaign tools and collaborative advocacy to encourage FLW solutions.

Research on Less Food Loss and Waste, Less Packaging Waste

In fall 2020, we hosted three national forums that explored solutions to reducing waste at the intersection of food and packaging. See the summary reports and recordings of the forums.

Date Labelling Workshop and Resources

See the summary of the discussions.


Food Bank  

Food Donation Workshops, Fact Sheets and Legal Interpretations

See resources below if you are a manufacturer, retailer, or community organization interested in donating food.

Our 2016 campaign for a federal tax incentive to reduce food waste won the formal individual support of 22 local governments, nationwide, and finally the full support of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Carefully designed as a tax credit or deduction, a simple incentive could offset the costs of operational changes required to separate, store and/or transport nutritious food to registered charities. Additional programs and investments are needed to further facilitate the transfer of nutritious food. Campaign elements research provided by the Conference Board of Canada study of organic waste reduction.

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