Operation Last Chance, the chance to make a difference

Opération Dernière Chance, la chance de faire une différence

3.1 million tonnes.

This is the quantity of food waste produced annually in Quebec, according to a study conducted by Recyc-Québec published in June 2022.

And the most striking thing about all of this is that 39% of this food waste is known to have been edible before being thrown away. A more than unfortunate observation, especially in these times of inflation.

Fortunately, the Laval Regional Environmental Council (CRE) and Arrivage, a local supply management platform without intermediaries, are making things happen.

Thanks to funding provided by the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ), these organizations were able to bring Operation Last Chance into the world.

This pilot project aims to counter food waste, by allowing Laval farmers to sell their surplus production to an impressive number of establishments in Greater Montreal.

Élevage et Cultures wanted to know more about this initiative which, in the long term, could have a significant impact on Quebec's food sovereignty and on the environmental impact of our agriculture.

Operation Last Chance in real time

Since 2018, the Arrival platform facilitates local supply and the creation of short circuits. The objective of the platform is to directly connect Quebec producers with retailers, restaurateurs, and any other Quebec establishment that wishes to source local products.

In the meantime, the CRE of Laval noted that farmers in their region could benefit from a helping hand in selling their surplus production, most of which would end up in compost.

The two organizations therefore decided to join forces to reduce food waste, improve food safety and promote the consumption of local food in Laval.

How exactly does it work?

The principle behind Operation Last Chance is quite simple. Farmers who wish to participate must first register on the Arrivage platform. They can then display their surplus or slightly ugly fruits and vegetables that they want to sell at a reasonable price.

Customers interested in these products in turn register on the platform and can place orders directly with the producers.

Subsequently, Luqman Sow, the delivery man from Operation Last Chance, makes his weekly tour of Laval producers and customers to collect the vegetables and deliver them to the many customers in Greater Montreal.

We had the chance to accompany Luqman on his tour to see the pilot project in real time. On site, we can see how the rescued vegetables are of exceptional quality. This is where we realize what a shame it would have been to see the majority of these beautiful products end up in the compost.

It's also great to see the enormous potential of this initiative in the long term. Farmers are happy to reduce their losses. CPEs, restaurants, hospitals, CHSLDs and other establishments are delighted to be able to use ultra-local, good quality foods in their kitchens at a lower price. Mission accomplished!

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