Upcycled Certified Expands into Canada 

Certification for upcycled ingredients and products arrives in Canada 


TORONTO — The Upcycled Food Association (UFA), the premier trade association for the upcycled industry, announces expansion of its Upcycled Certified program into Canada after seeing its extraordinary success in the U.S. market. 


As part of the expansion, UFA is partnering with Anthesis Provision, the food sustainability experts within Anthesis Group and COIL (Circular Opportunity Innovation Launchpad), Guelph-Wellington’s circular business accelerator, to expand the reach of the third-party verified Upcycled Certified mark to Canadian consumers, raising awareness and providing confidence that the food, beverage, cosmetic, companion pet food, home care, and cleaning products they buy include upcycled ingredients.  


Momentum leading to this expansion of Upcycled Certified program in Canada, which has already 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, has been building for some time. 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).  


“Our government is proud to support innovative solutions that address climate change while growing Canada’s economy. That’s why the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, is supporting Guelph-Wellington’s COIL initiative as they work to expand the Upcycled program into Canada, which will help to ensure Canadian consumers are aware of sustainable options for the everyday products they purchase.” says Helena Jaczek, minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern 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 Certified 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 per cent of consumers saying they would seek out upcycled products.  


“We’re thrilled to see increased investment in the upcycled space by Canadian businesses and from all levels of the government. We are proud to expand the Upcycled Certified program to catalyze even more impact,” says Ben Gray MS, RD, co-founder and chief innovation officer at the Upcycled Food Association and co-chair of the Upcycled Certified Standards Committee. “We’re confident the certification will further accelerate Canada’s progress towards ambitious climate goals.”  


“Global impact can only be made by collaborating,” says Pablo Perversi, chief innovation, sustainability and quality officer and global head of gourmet at Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading chocolate manufacturer. “We drive innovation and then, through partnership with UFA and their Upcycled Certified, we enable consumers to make informed choices and create more impact.” Evocao  WholeFruit Chocolate is the first upcycled certified chocolate made from 100 per cent pure cacaofruit that enables brands and artisans to play a role in this movement in the US and Canada. Given that 70 per cent of the 14 million tons of harvested cacaofruit is wasted annually, Perversi remarks, “cacaofruit is the most impactful fruit to fully upcycle.”  


The launch of Upcycled Certified in Canada is supported and made possible by a network of partners, representing the government and the food and beverage industry.

“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.” 


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 (AB InBev).  


Donya Litowitz of ImPASTA is one of the first brands to represent the UFA certified mark in Canada. “Canada and upcycling have been founding parts of our company story: 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 certification@upcycledfood.org .

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