This Earth Day 2022 the Upcycled Food Association (UFA), the premier trade association for the upcycled industry, has announced the expansion of its Upcycled Certified program into Canada after seeing extraordinary success in the U.S. market.
Consumers are more aware of their environmental impact than ever and research shows that consumers are keen to reduce food waste. According to Project Drawdown, eliminating food waste is the single-most effective act people can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Upcycled Certified program, as the world’s only certification for upcycled products, offers consumers concrete steps towards mitigating climate change.
The Canadian expansion builds on the rapid adoption of the certification in the United States. To date, the program has already certified over 200 food, beverage, cosmetic, companion pet food, cleaning, and home care products and ingredients which are projected to prevent over a collective 820 million pounds of food waste in the next year.
The launch of Upcycled Certified supports Canada’s Food Policy which identified Reduce Food Waste as “one of four significant areas within food systems … that require action in the short and medium term.”
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 products is strong and growing, with 80% of consumers saying they would seek them out.
Global impact can only be made by collaborating," says Pablo Perversi, chief innovation, sustainability, & quality officer and global head of gourmet at Barry Callebaut. "We drive innovation and then, through our partnership with UFA and their Upcycled Certified mark, we enable consumers to make informed choices and create more impact."
Evocao WholeFruit Chocolate is the first upcycled certified chocolate made from 100% pure cacaofruit that enables brands and artisans to play a role in this movement in the U.S. and Canada. 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."
In 2019, before the Upcycled Certified program existed, Future Market Insights estimated the current value of the upcycled food industry at $46 billion, with a predicted 5% compound annual growth, during a time before the Upcycled Certified Program existed.
“Upcycling is on track to sustain its momentum as one of the hottest trends in food through 2022,” says Greg Belt, CEO and co-founder at EverGrain Ingredients, an impact-driven ingredient company created by AB InBev to build an ingredient portfolio that improves the nutrition and environmental integrity of plant-based foods and beverages.
"For us, having the Upcycled Foods Certification on our packaging and assets tells consumers that our supply chain truly takes food waste out of the system." says Holly Hurley Feather, head of marketing for Take Two Foods who makes Barley Milk with upcycled barley.
“This is huge news for us and our customers as a supplement-grade prebiotic ingredient, the upcycled certification uniquely positions us to have an enormous impact on both human and environmental health with every new product launched," said Canada-based Solnul’s Chief Growth Officer Jason Leibert.
“We’re thrilled to see increased investment in the upcycled space from those doing business in Canada as well as all levels of the Canadian government” says Ben Gray MS, RD, co-founder and chief innovation officer at the Upcycled Food Association. “We’re confident expanding the certification will further accelerate Canada’s progress towards ambitious climate goals.”
Momentum leading to this expansion of Upcycled Certified Program in Canada has been building for some time. “The Canadian government’s commitment to diverting food waste has supported us through grants to create a truly innovative product and the Canadian retailer, Longo’s has supported us since our launch into the marketplace,'' said Donya Litowitz of ImPASTA. “imPASTA is proud to be one of the first brands representing the UFA certified Mark in Canada. Canada and upcycling have been founding parts of our company story, [as] a large portion of our squash is grown right here in Ontario."
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. To learn more about the Upcycled Certified program visit www.upcycledfood.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.