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Where are we wasting?

New project by VCMI and Second Harvest seeks to uncover food loss and waste across the entire supply chain

A new study, touted as the first of its kind, is taking aim at the $31-billion food waste and loss problem in Canada.

Undertaken by Oakville, Ont.-based Value Chain Management International (VCMI) and food rescue organization Second Harvest, the project is studying food loss and waste in Canada's food and beverage industry from a whole-chain perspective—from farm to processing to retail and foodservice. VCMI and Second Harvest will be collecting data from farmers, processors, retailers, foodservice operators and institutions via an online survey.

The purpose of the project, says VCMI's CEO Martin Gooch is to "establish a framework and metrics" that businesses working in these sectors can use to: understand where losses are likely to occur and identify ways to improve performance and profitability by reducing food loss and waste. It will also estimate losses occurring during the redistribution of rescued and donated food. The project will culminate with a manual for scalable and sustainable solutions for tackling and preventing food waste.

"Prior studies relied on existing data, largely not gathered for calculating food loss and waste; we are collecting and analyzing data that will achieve this," said Gooch of the groundbreaking  study in a statement. "The project outcomes will have important implications for businesses, industry, researchers and government."

The project, funded by The Walmart Foundation, will be completed by the end of 2018.

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