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Food wastes (FWs) generated from H&R in cities cause several problems. I propose model for production and marketing of animal feed from FWs


Description

Summary

Huge amounts of food wastes (FWs) are generated every day from H&R in all world cities and disposed at landfills, open sites, ditches etc. causing pollution, health problems, and contribute to GHG emissions. Thus, there is a need to develop and implement a mechanism that decrease or avoid the multiple constraints associated with FWs.  Production and marketing of animal feed from FWs (Making business out of FWS) is one such mechanism (Model) of meeting the challenges with FWs.  Some of the advantages with this model include: reduction GHG emission and pollution due to FWs, generate income, creates jobs, serve as sustainable means of managing FWs and ensures recycling of resources. I propos the envisaged FWs management model to be tested as pilot project in Ottawa, Ontario province, Canada with overall goal of developing model that converts FWs from H&R into useful product that will address multiple challenges with FWs which is sustainable, scalable, socially acceptable, economically feasible and environmental viable.

To achieve the major goal the proposed FWs management model, the following key actions need to be implemented:

  • Assessment, characterization, quantification and documentation of FWs generated daily by H&R in Ottawa.
  • Identification of stakeholders and sharing responsibilities
  • Awareness creation  and training of H&R owners and their employees on handling of  FWs
  • Identification and engagement of private sectors, public etc in feed production and selling business/create partnership with feed producing factories in Ottawa or its vicinity
  • Development and testing of animal feed production techniques from FWs
  • Animal feed product quality monitoring and certification
  • Identification of markets for feed products

Lessons and challenges obtained during piloting of this project will be documented and will be used as an input to develop scale up and out strategy.  Details are found in this proposal.


Desirability


How do you know that your solution is desirable to SMEs, and will reduce GHG emissions?

One of the end users from successful implementation of this project will be individuals, groups and companies engaged in H&R business. They will get several benefits if this project is successfully implemented. Some of the benefits include that owners of R&Hs and their employees will be aware that their business activities are contributing to GHG emissions, pollution, causing risk to human health etc. so that they will be part of the solution, they will be able save their spending on disposal of FWs, GHGs emissions, pollution and human health risks arising from FWs in cities will be decreased or abated. This will ultimately make the owners of H&R less accountable for economic, social and environmental concerns caused by FWs. H&R business firms will also be less affected by increasingly becoming stringent policies and regulations by their respective governments on FWs handling. 

Factories which will involve in production and marketing of animal feed from FWs will be another type of end users. They will generate income from the business and creates job opportunities to unemployed people.  The business model will also creates income to all those who will involve across value chains from collection of FWs to production up to selling of feeds.

Poultry and swine farm owners are also among end users of this model. They will benefit from purchasing high quality animal feed that will be used in the formulation of feed ration to their chicken and pigs.


Feasibility


What actions do you propose?

Introduction

With unprecedented increases in urban population and urbanization, there is a growing concern that large amounts of food wastes (FWs) are generated every day from hotels and restaurants (H&R), supermarkets etc. in cities all over the world and disposed at landfills, on open sites, streets etc. causing economic, social and environmental problems. For example, in Canada alone, food lost as waste accounts for US$37 billion yearly. FWs are one of the major emitters of GHGs in cities contributing to climate change. They also serve as breeding media for diseases and insects and contribute to air pollution. Disposal of FWs also consume sizeable amounts annual budgets of municipalities. Thus, the multiple constraints caused by FWs need to be addressed to ensure descent growths of cities, decrease GHG emissions and avoid economic loss, and ensure sustainability of environment and business firms in cities such as H&Rs etc.  

At this juncture, several measures are being taken by cities around the world spanning from technologies to policies and regulations aimed at abating the growing challenges with FWs. But none of the solutions are silver bullets against the challenges with FWs. Therefore, it is vital to find innovative solutions supplemental to existing measures. Production and marketing of animal feeds from FWs of H&Rs in cities is one such approach or model that can effectively solve the problems associated with FWs. For obvious reasons, whatever food type consumed by human being is rich in its nutrient, mineral and vitamin contents. Thus, FWs can be processed and converted into high quality animal feed especially feeds for chicken and swine/pigs instead of disposing it at landfills and other sites. There will be several benefits with this model. Some of the benefits include: reduction GHG emission and pollution in cities, generate income and job opportunities, decrease health risks due to FWs, enables H&R owners and municipalities to save spending on FWs disposal, allows efficient recycling of resources, and it is sustainable and scalable solution to FWs in cities of the word.

Goal

To develop model that converts FWs from H&R into useful product that will address multiple challenges with FWs which is sustainable, scalable, socially acceptable, economically feasible and environmental viable.

Objectives

  • To know types food wastes and determine the amounts of food wastes generated daily by H&R in Ottawa and synthesize and document the information
  • To create awareness among H&R owners and their employees in Ottawa on issues of FWs and train them on FWs handling methods
  • To identify key stakeholders of this pilot project in Ottawa and define their contributions
  • To develop processes and methods  which  will enable to convert animal feed from FWs from H&R
  • To produce animal feeds from FWs and test its feed quality, demand in market etc.
  • To identify markets for feed products from FWs
  • To determine economic, social and environmental feasibility of animal feed production from FWs in Ottawa

The proposed model for converting FWs to animal feed is envisaged to be tested as pilot project in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. In order to achieve goal and objectives of the project, Key actions required to be accomplished are described one by one as follows:

Establishing Project piloting team

The first task in the course of piloting this project is to establish working group (WG) with the right mix of professions and experiences. Accordingly, proposed professionals in the envisaged WG include animal nutritionist, socio-economist, veterinarian, training expert, marketing specialist, sociologist, feed production engineer, environmentalist, climate scientist and statistician. The WG then will be led by team leader and will be responsible carry out all the project activities. I propose the WG to be hosted in University of Toronto but it requires discussion and agreement among parties of the project.

Identification of stakeholders and sharing responsibly

Even if the WG is responsible to accomplish all the project activities end to end, there will be stakeholders/actors which will have irreplaceable role to the success of the pilot project. Thus, there is a need to identify stakeholder organizations, NGOs, public institutions, government institutions, private sector etc. in Ottawa, define and share their specific contributions to the pilot project. These tasks will be done following appropriate stakeholder mapping tools and guidelines described in literatures.

Assessment, characterization and quantification of FWs

Information on the type of FWs and amounts of FWs generated daily and disposal methods by H&R in Ottawa is the next important action to be done during piloting work. The information will serve as a stepping stone for designing and implementing subsequent actions of the project. To secure these information, combinations of tools and approaches will be employed which include secondary information, direct auditing, and informal and formal survey techniques.

Awareness creation and training

In the overview section of this contest on climatecolab page, challenges and potential barriers to actions experienced by SMEs that need to be addressed are summarized in the table. Looking at the contents of the table,  I feel that most of the challenges and potential barriers can be addressed through awareness creation and training of SMEs including H&R owners and their employees on issues of GHG emissions and climate change, proper management of FWs, environmental health, sustainability etc. Thus, to create awareness among people involved on H&R business and train them on the above issues, there is a need to prepare module and training manuals, documentary film, flyers, posters, online platforms etc. in a such that it will be easy to understand by such groups of people.

Techniques for production of feed from FWs

Technique of feed production from FWs shall be done in collaboration with animal feed producing factors in Ottawa or its vicinity. FWs samples from H&Rs in the city whose owners and employees have been trained on handling of FWs will be collected daily and transported to processing site.  In the site, FWs will be arranged in such way that it will be air and sun dried. This process will continue until dried FWs mixtures will have a size between 250-500 MT. Then the dried FWs shall be crushed and milled in the factory and the flour will be stored in bulk following appropriate storage methods. From the bulk flour, replicated samples will be taken and submitted to appropriate laboratory for the nutritional quality analyses, for diseases causing pathogen analyses as well as for the analysis of contaminates/pollutants such as heavy metals etc.  

The analytical results shall be submitted to standard authority in Ottawa where it will evaluate the feed product against standard specifications and approve or certify the product for public use. By the way, there is a possibility for direct feeding of FWs to pigs due to their feeding nature. Thus, parallel to developing feed production techniques from FWs, effects of direct feeding of FWs to pigs in collaboration with pig farms will also be conducted.

Evaluation of feed product

After getting the feed product certified, the next task will be to evaluate the feed value of the product through experimenting with live animals (chicken and pigs). This task requires the collaboration of poultry and pig farm enterprises in Ottawa. Collaborating farm enterprises shall be identified during stakeholder mapping activity of this project. Details of experimental treatment set ups, parameters to be collected, duration of experiment etc. will be worked out later.

Demand creation (market) for feed product

After proving that feed produced from FWs work, the next important task will be creating market for feed produced from FWs. This is because anything which is not sellable can’t be produced. Creating market to the new feed product shall employ combinations of marketing strategies which will include promotion through mass media, online platforms, posters and flyers, through direct introduction of feed products to poultry and pig farm owners etc. Detailed marketing strategy will be developed later.               

Engaging private firms, groups in feed production business

The last step in the process is to design a mechanism for large or business scale production and marketing of feed from FWs. One such mechanism is to involve existing private factories which are already engaged in animal feed production and selling business from other raw materials in Ottawa. This requires approaching such factories and convincing them to produce feed from FWs. Another approach is to organize unemployed youths and women into groups and train them to involve in the business of production and selling of feed from FWs. However, engaging youths and women in such business requires designing detailed plan and financial resource.

Incentives

In order to encourage H&R owners, factories, FWs collectors etc. to effectively contribute to the success of this project, there is a need to give some kind of incentives such as tax reduction, duty free import of materials required for business of converting FWs into animal feed etc.


Who will take these actions?


Where will these actions be taken?

As I indicated in the preceding sections of this proposal, the envisaged project will be piloted in Ottawa, Canada. However, it will be difficult for me to do the piloting work myself in Ottawa, Canada. Thus, it is a must that I should get a partner organization in Ottawa who will be willing to pilot my idea. I have already started communicated organizations and individuals in Ottawa requesting them to be partner of my project. I will play advisory role during piloting of this project.


What are the proposal’s projected costs?


Scalability


Once the solution is built and implemented describe a path forward for it to scale to other users/companies.

The envisaged model for converting FWs into animal feed is essentially a model for converting challenge into opportunity. The point is that with the existing scenario, FWs generated in cities around the world are causing economic, social, environmental problems. On the contrary, if the FWs are converted into feed, nearly all challenges with FWs will be solved. For example, the value of food lost as FWs in Canada is estimated to be US$ 37 billion yearly. But if FWs are converted into animal feed business, the same amount of money will be saved yearly. Moreover, production and marketing feed from FWs will generate income for all actors who will involve across value chains from collection, transportation of FWs up to poultry and pig farms. The model will also create job opportunities to unemployed youths and women. All these are evidences for the scalability of this model.

The model is sustainable as well because FWs are generated every day, every month and year round. It means that feedstock for the production of feed will be available all the time. The model will be obviously profitable, thus, factories, FWs collectors etc. will definitely continue involving in this business because incentive is the main driving engine/motive behind for people/organizations to involve in any activity. Thus, if effectively implemented, it will be self sustaining and lasting solution to challenges with FWs.


How will your solution lead to change on a larger scale over time (i.e. 3 to 5 years out)? How many businesses can potentially be affected by your solution?


What business and funding model have you considered for your solution to become sustainable?


Impact


What impact will the proposed actions have on reducing greenhouse gas emissions?


What are other key benefits?


About the Authors


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References