Grocery Economics & Household Food Waste Reduction Study

The Cause

The Grocery Link is a proud Calgary Alberta born Social Enterprise who officially launched their programs and services in January 2016. We provide grocery shopping & delivery, prescription pick up and quick shop services in conjunction with a series of unique community focused programs.

Our project: “Grocery Economics & Food Waste Reduction Study.” We are on a mission to study and modify the way 1,000 Alberta families plan, purchase and waste food. We will study and track their existing habits and then implement our program to prove economic, social and environmental benefits to these families and their communities. The study will generate quantifiable results leading to the development of an education and awareness campaign and ability to expand our program across Alberta and eventually across Canada.

In today’s economy families are struggling and seeking ways to save money. Modifying the way we plan and purchase food can save a family money and protect our environment.

Food waste in Canada is at a record high while 1 in 8 families struggle to put food on their table and over 900,000 Canadians need access to a food bank. 40% of all food produced is wasted. 47% is generated by households. The cost to our Canadian economy is over $31 Billion Dollars a year. The cost to our environment is 20% of Canada’s methane emissions.

Everyone pays for food waste. Methane emissions affect climate change and climate change is a significant factor to the rising prices of food. Droughts, floods, fires and warming ocean temperatures all affect food production and cost. Municipalities across Canada are implementing green cart programs to divert food waste form landfills. The costs of collection, transportation and disposal are born by tax payers.

Who Will it Benefit?

Value Chain Management International and multiple accredited Universities from around the world have published reports noting “the way we plan, purchase and waste food is unsustainable.”

Canadian municipalities are focused only on collection and diversion of food waste away from landfills. Implementing green cart programs and building multi-million dollar compost facilities to turn family food waste into a high valued fertilizer commodity does not solve the underlying issue of reducing food waste at the household, the highest contributing source.

Tax incentives are being offered to retailers in parts of BC, Ontario and France to “donate vs. waste.” These programs again do not solve the underlying issues of consumer behavior.

Modifying the way we plan, purchase and waste food can provide a solution to the underlying issue and provide economic, social and environmental benefits to individual families and municipalities.
• Learning to plan and purchase food effectively and purchasing only what you need by eliminating impulse spending will save families money and reduce stress on household budgets.
• Planning meals around our hectic lives, ensuring we have what we need when we need it will help families eat healthier.
• Reducing household food waste at the source will decrease operational costs to municipalities. Collection programs could reduce in frequency, transport costs could reduce in frequency and disposal costs could reduce by reducing the total weight of the food waste being disposed of.

There is a lack of education and awareness around grocery economics and household food waste reduction and a lack of incentives provided to families to reduce their food waste footprint. The successful results of this study will form an education and awareness campaign and the ultimate goal will be to work in cooperation with Governments to implement tax incentives for families who get involved in our program.