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 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 adoption of the certification in the United States. To date, the program has certified more than 200 food, beverage, cosmetic, companion pet food, cleaning and home care products and ingredients, which are projected to prevent more than 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 percent of consumers saying they would seek them out.
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. "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 percent 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 percent 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.
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 upcycledfood.org.