Southern Ontario Food Collaborative Battles Food Waste in York Region

Friday, January 30, 2015

On November 20, 2014, the GHFFA attended a York Region meeting hosted to found the Southern Ontario Food Collaborative, with 39 representatives from provincial, regional and municipal governments, food businesses, and food and farming organizations in attendance.

The purpose was for these leaders to share information and ideas regarding food and food waste, and to determine the potential for working together to decrease wasted food through public education.

The meeting saw a strong shared vision for the Southern Ontario Food Collaborative, with the creation of a number of task groups to maintain the momentum and move the Collaborative forward.

The players include: Government (all levels), Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), Food Producers (Farmers), Food Processors/Manufacturers, Distributors and Retailers, and Restaurants/Food Services.

For more information, you may view the full report here.

“This meeting was groundbreaking in a couple of different ways,”  shares Janet Horner, Executive Director of the Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance.

“First, the Region of York has demonstrated that two departments – Waste Management and Health – can have shared values and are able to work together on a common goal: Food Waste.  Reducing food waste helps both municipalities and consumers spend less on food they don’t need or use, or the handling of that waste.  Secondly, York Region has recognized that the issue of food waste goes beyond their borders to jurisdictions right across the province.  By sharing what works and what doesn’t work, the initiative can get traction and uptake faster.  Kudos to the York Region team for their leadership.”

York Region’s Integrated Waste Management Master Plan (the SM4RT Living Plan) has already identified a goal to reduce avoidable household food waste in their Green Bin by 15% by 2031.

As you may recall from our recent blog post that focused on food waste, the issue has become a critical one that certainly needs addressing, and we applaud these efforts in York Region and are looking forward to following along with their progress.