Upcycling Food Waste

As part of our objective to increase instances where waste was used as a resource

As part of Our Food Future’s objective to increase instances where waste was used as a resource, we supported several programs that aimed to demonstrate how new business-to-business collaborations, consumer standards or innovative procurement approaches could help drive the transition to a circular economy.

The Circular Meal

In this pilot seven businesses, coordinated by Our Food Future Collaborators Provision Coalition, collaborated to create a series of fully circular meals at Guelph restaurants. Starting with spent beer grain from a local brewery, a fish farm, a bakery, a potato farm, a yeast producer and ultimately three local restaurants all used the waste of one process as the feedstock for the next – with delicious results. This project was highlighted in 2021 by the World Economic Forum’s Program for Accelerating the Circular Economy.

Resource Exchange Marketplace

We know that the waste of one business can be the feedstock for another. In our circular food economy, we aimed for more businesses to turn their waste streams into value streams – but it can be challenging to make these connections. To address this in 2021 COIL launched ReSource Exchange Marketplace, and online B2B exchange platform where businesses could post waste streams for others to accept or purchase. ReSource Exchange logged a number of successful exchanges between users of the platform, however, we learned that a web site on its own is not necessarily enough to change sourcing practices.

Certified Upcycled Standard

In 2022, COIL partnered with the Upcycled Food Association and Anthesis Provision to expand the Upcycled Certified™ to Canada. This consumer facing standard signifies that the product contains a significant percentage of upcycled ingredients. Under the COIL program 12 products were certified and several more from COIL companies were certified independently. Consumer visibility of circular and upcycled products is essential for building awareness and support.