Diverse group of people in the food business.

Circular Food Innovation Lab

This research project is funded through the generosity of the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance and Mitacs .

Thank you for your investment in a future where there is no waste.

Learning Out Loud

Follow what we’ve been learning and trying

We've partnered with the Vancouver Economic Commission and Emily Carr University to create the Circular Food Innovation Lab to:

  • Test solutions to eliminate avoidable food waste
  • Increase circularity across Vancouver’s food supply chain

18 businesses selected to participate 

As part of an open recruitment earlier in 2022, 18 businesses from Vancouver’s food supply chain were selected to participate in the Circular Food Innovation Lab (CFIL).

Working closely with the Emily Carr University design team, they have co-developed and are testing prototype concepts to reduce the waste of edible food within their operations. Participation in the lab, advice, services, and tools have all been provided free of charge as part of CFIL. 

Sign up to receive the final report coming out in early 2023.

What's happeningRegistration open for Vancouver food businesses and their food supply chain

Join Martin Gooch and Keith Renfrey  to participate in this timely and relevant workshop:

From Supply Chain to Value Chain:
 How to increase economic resiliency for your food business

Value Chain Management International has shown that “businesses can improve financial performance by 10 plus per cent through implementing simple practices that lead to more effective processes. At the workshop, participants will receive a process improvement toolkit, including a workbook divided into easy-to-follow steps.” 

Who should participate in the workshop

Food producers, distributors, processors, restaurants, cafés, grocers, and other food businesses are invited to participate along with members of your supply chain.

No fee to participate. 

Read more about the workshop (396 KB)

Register for the workshop 

Spaces for this in-person workshop are limited.  

Why reduce food waste?

A Canadian report released in 2019 estimated that 8.79 million tonnes of avoidable, unplanned food waste resulted in a loss of $39 billion dollars to the food industry.

In Vancouver, 25,000 tonnes of edible food was discarded by businesses in 2019, representing a loss of 37,000 meals. 

The World Resources Institute also found that for every $1 invested in preventing and reducing wasted food, businesses saved $14.


  • May 2021

    External funding approved for Food Waste Innovation Lab project

  • Mar - Apr 2022

    Businesses invited to participate

  • Apr 2022

    Selection of initial participants
    Intake is ongoing until spaces are filled

  • May - June 2022

    Project underway with selected participants

    Observation and learning

    Design team visits to business sites

  • July - Aug 2022

    Development and experimentation

    Initial prototype solutions

    Gathering of learnings and sharing with all participants

  • Sept 2022 - Oct 2023

    Deeper development of promising prototype solutions

  • We are here
  • Feb - May 2023

    Public report on learnings and next steps

Contact us

For more information, email solving-food-waste@vancouver.ca

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