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  • Register as a Blue Box producer by October 1, 2021

    As of October 1, 2021, all brand holders based in Canada who provide packaged product to consumers in Ontario will be required to pay an annual fee to the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA). This fee goes towards the administration of oversight and compliance of the new Blue Box recycling program. Brand holders are required to register and report their 2020 supply data to the Authority on or before October 1, 2021. Brand holders will also be required to pay their 2021 Registry fee when submitting their 2020 supply data. Brand holders must complete this Registration Form and email it as an attachment to registry@rpra.ca by the October 1 deadline. Brand holders who fail to meet this deadline will be out of compliance with the Blue Box Regulation and may be subject to enforcement actions by the Authority. A few FAQs that may help you get started: Am I a Brand holder / producer under the new regulation? The Blue Box Regulation applies to producers of products and packaging supplied to consumers in Ontario. Most stewards in the current Blue Box Program administered by Stewardship Ontario will be obligated as producers under the new regulation. For more information on who is obligated as a producer, visit the RPRA website. I already reported my 2020 supply data to Stewardship Ontario through the WeRecycle Portal. Do I have to report again to the Authority? Yes. If you previously reported your 2020 supply data to Stewardship Ontario through the WeRecycle portal, you must also report your 2020 supply data to the Authority in order to meet your requirements under the Blue Box Regulation. Read more in the FAQ. When do I need to sign up with a PRO? There are no deadlines for a producer to sign up with a Producer Responsibility Organization (or PRO), and producers are not required to have a contract with a PRO prior to the October 1 registration deadline. Learn more about PROs. While selecting a PRO is not required to fulfill your registration and reporting requirements, producers who want to ensure that they are represented through the rule creation process should have a representation agreement in place with a PRO. The rule creation process will determine how producers will be assigned collection requirements through an allocation table. The rules may be submitted to the Authority as early as January 1, 2022. 2021 Fees To understand if your company is required to pay the fees, and to learn more about the program visit the RPRA website or view a recording of the recent information session available here. The OPMA has asked RPRA to provide answers to several questions specific to the produce industry. Reponses can be found here. We are also planning a webinar in the Fall on the changes to the Blue Box program.

  • Loblaw partners in first of its kind food waste diversion program

    August 20, 2021 Loblaw Companies Limited is partnering with the Toronto Zoo and EnerFORGE in an innovative project that turns food waste and zoo manure into energy fit for the grid. The ZooShare Biogas Project is the first of its kind in Canada and an example of the circular economy in action. The project aims to convert 15,000 tonnes of food waste from grocery stores, restaurants and other businesses in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and 2,000 tonnes of zoo manure into enough renewable power for approximately 250 homes while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 20,000 tonnes per year. Additionally, after the incoming material has been processed it can be spread on nearby farm fields to support the growth of food the following season. ZooShare says the project is also a natural fit for Loblaw, in the fight to eliminate food waste. Keenly aware of the role the Canadian grocery industry plays in the issue, Tonya Lagrasta, senior director of corporate social responsibility at Loblaw, says the company has reduced the amount of food waste sent to landfill from its corporate retail operations by more than eighty per cent since 2016. Loblaw credits innovative thinking and strategic partnerships, such as these, with their success to date. “As food retailers, we know that the grocery industry plays a significant role in the creation of food waste and that’s why it’s incredibly important to us to be a part of the solution,” says Lagrasta. “Our priority is to make sure food ends up where it’s supposed to be – on people’s plates. But when that’s not possible, we’re proud to work with partners like ZooShare to find new and innovative opportunities for food that may have otherwise ended up in the landfill.” Source: Grocery Business

  • North American Produce Industry Sounds Warning Bell re Pallet Shortages Putting the Supply of Fresh Produce at Risk

    May 2021 Although conversations are occurring within the North American (and global) industry relative to the current acute pallet shortages, we believe that many do not yet realize the factors impacting the situation and the potential scope of the issue, including the availability of produce to consumers. A multitude of issues are impacting pallet availability including: Efforts of wholesalers, distributors and retailers to ensure sufficient inventory of non-perishables given previous pandemic-related impacts. The availability of lumber to repair and build new pallets. The escalating price of lumber when it is available. Non-perishable inventory dwell time increase. Lack of available trucks to relocate pallets. The lack of pallets is adding stress to a supply chain that is already facing significant challenges which include a lack of available trucks and shipping containers, ongoing labour challenges, fluctuating fuel costs, pandemic-related challenges and a pending shortage of resin used to make reusable containers and pallets.  At this time expectations are that the pallet shortage will continue for months, perhaps for the balance of 2021 – all at a time when many North American produce items are just beginning seasonal harvests and shipments. To give a sample of the scope of the issue, we’ve compiled the following information: The shortage of lumber and wood products has increased the cost of raw lumber 200% to 350% and is making the cost of wood pallets increase incrementally. In one example, it was noted that over the past few weeks, pallet costs have increased more than 400%, IF the pallets are even available, and often they are not. One farmer was told by one pallet supplier that they are not taking any new customers due to an inability to fill even existing customer demand. Companies are forced to bring pallets from other jurisdictions thereby incurring border and transportation costs. Pallets are being held in-house due to delayed and cancelled orders from pallet services, leading to higher storage charges and increased congestion within operations. Working together, the supply chain must balance organizational goals relative to overall availability of goods with availability of food.  If there is not a concerted effort across the supply chain to ensure pallet availability for shipment of produce, there is little doubt that it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for the grower/shipper community to meet buyer, and ultimately consumer, demand for produce.  Simultaneously, growers and shippers are working hard to remain compliant with pallet requirement specifications where they can, but this is proving challenging.  Temporary modifications or exceptions to pallet requirements, as long as they do not jeopardize safety, would prove advantageous until this pallet shortage is resolved. This news is intended, in part, to act as a catalyst for industry awareness and should be shared with all stakeholders to ensure a consistent understanding of the issue and to encourage discussions and efforts towards a path forward.  All partners in the supply chain should have regular conversations with their pallet suppliers to understand the situation and pallet inventories/availability. We welcome the opportunity to work collaboratively with all parties within the supply chain to mitigate the impacts of the current shortages and will reach out to stakeholders to identify a path forward that provides solutions to this increasingly disruptive threat and enables the continued flow of goods. Click here to see more industry news

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