We completed our first iHub discovery event with two community businesses: a social enterprise focused on equitable food access and a dairy processor. This was an opportunity to test the process, assess the value of the self-assessment tool created by Provision Coalition—sustainability experts who provide advisory services to the food industry—and begin generating circular food challenges for our database.
Both organizations reported what using the Provision Coalition’s Food Loss and Waste Prevention Toolkit revealed about their operations. They then sat down to identify challenges that emerged from that assessment and from their own experience.
Next, they zeroed in on the most important challenges, analyzing:
- The nature of the problem,
- Who it impacts,
- When it occurs,
- Where it occurs, and
- The value of solving the problem.
The half-day session proved the effectiveness of the discovery event format. It also yielded a number of challenges—including problems related to spoilage, labour, packaging, water use, food insecurity and impact measurement—that we can put forward to potential vendors and social innovators, inviting them to develop solutions.