The Upcycled Food Association (UFA) has expanded its Upcycled Certified program into Canada.
As part of the expansion, UFA is partnering with Anthesis Provision, and COIL (Circular Opportunity Innovation Launchpad), the circular business accelerator of Ontario municipalities Guelph-Wellington, to expand the reach of the third-party verified Upcycled Certified Mark to Canadian consumers. The program certifies that food, beverage, cosmetic, companion pet food, home care, and cleaning products they buy include upcycled ingredients.
The Upcycled Certified Program has certified over 200 products and ingredients in the United States and is projected to prevent over 820 million pounds of food waste in the next year.
The expansion of the Upcycled Certified Program is a demonstration project of COIL, which is being funded by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).
“For the last two years, Guelph and Wellington County have been working to support entrepreneurs and community leaders to reduce food waste and upcycle what can’t be avoided into an economic resource,” said David Messer, manager of COIL.
“As part of this commitment to a new way of thinking about food and drink, we are excited to support the expansion of the Upcycled CertifiedTM Program and to champion the impact that it can have in growing the circular food economy in our region and beyond.”
Named as one of the top food trends for 2021 by Whole Foods and one of the most prominent trends at Expo West in 2022, consumer research shows that demand for Upcycled Foods is strong and growing, with 80 percent of consumers saying they would seek out upcycled products.
“Global impact can only be made by collaborating,” says Pablo Perversi, of chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut. “We drive innovation and then, through partnership with UFA and their Upcycled Certified, we enable consumers to make informed choices and create more impact.”
Callebaut’s Evocao WholeFruit Chocolate is the first upcycled certified chocolate made from 100% pure cacaofruit. Given that 70% of the 14 million tons of harvested cacaofruit is wasted annually, Perversi remarks, “cacaofruit is the most impactful fruit to fully upcycle.”
“Canada has made food waste prevention a priority and upcycling is the next stage in helping food and beverage companies become more circular,” says Cher Mereweather, CEO of Anthesis Provision.
“Anthesis Provision, part of the world’s largest group of sustainability experts, is delighted to help bring the Upcycled Certified Program to Canadian food and beverage companies, to enable them to showcase their efforts to prevent food waste and use all their resources by creating new upcycled products that meet a growing consumer demand.”
Upcycled Certified is administered by a third party certification body, Where Food Comes From, which ensures that every Upcycled Certified product and ingredient meets the rigorous Upcycled Certified Standard.