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Food Waste Reduction Initiative

Supported by Agricultural Adaptation Council funding, the Ontario Produce Marketing Association (OPMA) is partnering with and engaging Value Chain Management International (VCMI) to undertake a project that aims to reduce food loss and waste (FLW) along the value chain: grower, packer, shipper, wholesaler, distributor, retail or foodservice, and ultimately the consumer. The purpose of the project is to raise industry awareness and create the skills required to measurably reduce FLW in Ontario’s wider horticultural industry and markets.

These outcomes will be achieved by working with chosen industry leaders/OPMA members to create materials and daily management tools, which will be shared with industry through a series of eight workshops, media articles, industry newsletters, and webinars.

Workshops for the Ontario Produce Industry

Industry leaders will be trained during a series of one-day workshops in how to identify and address the root causes of FLW, resulting in opportunities to improve the competitiveness of Ontario’s fresh produce industry by implementing sustainable programs for reducing FLW along the entire value chain. Materials developed for the workshops and training will be shared with the produce industry and other non-produce food industries.  To learn more about upcoming workshops, email dee@theopma.ca or click here.

Case Studies

The first of four case studies being developed during the project was released in July 2017.  As part of the Ontario Produce Marketing Association’s (OPMA) food waste reduction initiative, Value Chain Management International (VCMI) worked with EarthFresh Foods and growers to identify ways to reduce waste by increasing the quality and value of table potatoes, from field to consumer. The case study found that a 29 per cent increase in pack-out rate* equates to a 74 per cent increase in grower margin. On a 50,000 lb load of potatoes, this amounts to a $6,000 increase in grower returns.

The three remaining case studies in development include those of a retailer, distributor and producer/packer. Updates will be made as the project progresses. For more information, please contact: Virginia Zimm 416-519-9390 ext. 234 or virginia@theopma.ca

This project was funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario.

Growing Forward 2 logos

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