2022/03/31 – Scaling Circular Food Systems in Canada: Stakeholder Workshop

Scaling Circular Food Systems in Canada: Stakeholder Workshop

Date: March 31, 2022 

Time: 9:00am-12:00pm Pacific Time / 12:00pm-3:00pm Eastern Time

Organizers & Supporting Partners: Circular Economy Leadership Canada (CELC), the National Zero Waste Council, Our Food Future (Guelph-Wellington), Save On Foods, Next Generation Manufacturing (NGen) Supercluster

Format:  Zoom virtual meeting

Who Should Attend? Farmers and food producers, food suppliers and distributors, retailers, non-profits, organics management community, product and equipment suppliers, academia and educators, financial institutions, and government at all levels.

REGISTRATION COMING SOON – Email Paul Shorthouse, Managing Director, CELC, (pshorthouse@circulareconomyleaders.ca) to express interest


Canada’s agri-food industry—which includes all the enterprises that produce, sell, and deliver food—is one of Canada’s most important economic sectors, generating $139 billion in GDP and employing more than 2 million people in 2020. At the same time, the value of food lost or wasted every year in Canada is estimated to be worth $49 billion. Circular economy principles applied to Canada’s agri-food system can help to address the food loss and waste issue while generating multiple co-benefits, including enhancing food security and the resiliency of supply chains; creating new economic, investment, and employment opportunities; reducing pollution and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; improving nutrient cycling and restored biodiversity; and providing greater equity and related social benefits.

The Scaling Circular Food Systems in Canada Stakeholder Workshop will be a solutions-oriented, interactive, virtual (or hybrid) event taking place on March 31, 2022, and will convene a broad set of stakeholders from across the country. Informed by a Discussion Paper prepared for the event and based on recent research by Smart Prosperity Institute and others, the workshop will highlight some of the current efforts, opportunities, and challenges for accelerating and scaling the transition to a more circular food system in Canada.

The workshop will include breakout discussions focused on a variety of themes, such as climate action, supply chain and business model innovation, Northern and rural communities, water and oceans, and social equity. The workshop will look to surface circular food system barriers and challenges and bring forward solutions and opportunities that are place-based in nature, allowing communities large and small, urban and rural, and from coast to coast to coast, to connect around a diversity of food cultures and identities. Outcomes from the workshop will be a list of prioritized areas for further collaboration and focus moving forward based on the interests of participants.

Key objectives for the workshop include: 

1. Share information from recent research on the current state of the circular food system in Canada.

2. Explore key barriers and opportunities for advancing a more circular food system in Canada, for communities of all shapes and sizes.

3. Identify key themes of highest interest to stakeholders for future engagements and research, and that will become the ‘framework’ for the playbook to be developed in Phase 2 of the work stream.  

The workshop will be hosted by the Circular Economy Solution Series, powered by GLOBE Series, and will feature expert insights into a range of topic areas, as well as interactive breakout sessions that will allow participants to strategize together on how to scale ideas and overcome barriers, setting the foundation and focus areas for future phases of work and the development of a ‘playbook’ or toolkit of resources for various stakeholders (based on a ‘communities of practice’ model) that looks to address key barriers and advance opportunities. 

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