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.

We've partnered with the Vancouver Economic Commission and Emily Carr University of Art + Design to create the Circular Food Innovation Lab to test solutions to eliminate avoidable food waste across Vancouver’s food supply chain.

There is no fee for businesses to participate in the project. Advice, services, and tools provided as part of the Circular Food Innovation Lab are free of charge.

The project kicks-off with the first large group session on Wednesday, April 27, 2022, from noon to 4:30pm.

What's happeningRecruitment open for food businesses and organizations to join the Circular Food Innovation Lab

This is an opportunity to reduce costs and wasted food, risk-proof your business, and inform future policies to prevent wasted food in Vancouver’s supply chain.

Food producers, distributors, processors, restaurants, cafés, grocers, and other food businesses are invited to participate.  There is no fee to participate. 

Read more about the initiative (370 KB)

Apply now

Upon completion of this project, a final report and a downloadable toolkit will be released for broad use by food businesses.

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

  • We are here
  • 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

  • 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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