North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney introduced a private member’s bill in the House of Commons to address the issue of food waste.
According to a media release from Blaney, Bill C-283 would establish a national food waste awareness day and tasks the minister of agriculture to establish a national strategy to reduce food waste in Canada.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of food security and food management,” stated Blaney. “Canada has a lot of work to do to address the economic, social and environmental impacts of food waste. My bill is a first step in the right direction.”
Food waste is a significant concern from farmers to distributors to local and regional governments, according to Blaney. Comox Strathcona Waste Management and Tla’amin Nation near Powell River are both planning new compost facilities to address local waste management challenges, she added. Community organizations are providing increased programming and education about food waste, stated Blaney.
Blaney has added a page to her website where Canadians can add their support for her call for a national strategy on food waste at rachelblaney.ndp.ca/food-waste.
“I would say the majority of farms do a good job ensuring ugly produce gets used for jams, jellies, salsa et cetera or donated, or fed to animals,” stated Arzeena Hamir, organic farmer and co-chair of Farmers for Climate Solutions. “Where I think we have a problem is when it hits the supermarkets. Only a few chains have a process in place to direct unsold food for the best and highest use. I do think this should be legislated and encouraged.”