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May 14, 2024

Two grand prize winners of the Novel Technologies Streams for the Food Waste Reduction Challenge have been announced: Clean Works Inc. and Genecis Bioindustries Inc.


The Challenge, launched in November 2020 by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in partnership with Impact Canada, supports high-impact solutions to food waste in Canada. The Novel Technologies Streams focus on developing technological solutions to food waste. These solutions serve to extend the life of perishable food, or transform food waste into new products or value-added products. 


Clean Works is a St. Catharines-based company that, with support from the Challenge, developed a solution that uses hydrogen peroxide, ozone and UV to control mildew and micro-organism growth in pre-harvest (greenhouses, field crops, grapevines) fruit and vegetables. This solution allows the shelf life of produce to be increased by up to 20 per cent, which Clean Works estimates to prevent nearly 50 tonnes of food waste annually for grapes and spinach alone in Canada. 


Genecis Bioindustries is a Toronto-based company that, with support from the Challenge, developed a specialized bacteria that transforms food waste into compostable bioplastics. Over the last three years, the company has diverted more than 2.1 tonnes of food waste from the landfill, allowing them to produce around 5,000 tonnes of environmentally-friendly bioplastic at their Toronto facility each year.  


Clean Works and Genecis Bioindustries will each receive a grand prize of up to $1 million to help advance their proprietary solutions and support their prospective deployment in the Canadian market.


According to Second Harvest and Value Chain Management International, 58 per cent of Canada’s annual food supply is reportedly wasted or lost.


Source:  Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada May 14, 2024 news release


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Submitted by Karen Davidson on 14 May 2024