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The Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste


Of all food in Canada annually is lost or wasted


Of this food could be redirected to support Canadians

56.5 million

Tonnes of CO² equivalent emissions created annually

This research is a world first and shows we need to radically change how we value food

Nearly 60% of food produced for Canadians – or 35.5 million tonnes – is lost and wasted annually.*

32% or 11.2 million tonnes of that food is edible and could be redirected to support people in our communities.

The total financial value of this potentially rescuable lost and wasted food is a staggering $49.46 billion.

These unprecedented findings are the result of a year-long research project undertaken by Second Harvest and Value Chain Management International, a leading public and industry voice in food waste.


The current system makes it too easy to blame other departments or cite excuses for why change should not occur. The common mantra is: ‘We have industry average shrink so there’s not a problem and no need to change

Food retailer

The average consumer is not aware of the staggering and depressing extent of food loss and waste.

Food retailer

We live in an environment where food is cheap and plentiful, and few people have experienced hunger or food insecurity. Therefore, societal attitudes do not support avoiding food waste.

Survey respondent

Thank you

This project was made possible by a generous grant from the Walmart Foundation.

* This number includes imports