An application developed in Montreal to combat food waste

Backup is an app that connects coffee shops, restaurants, bakeries and small grocery stores with environmentally conscious consumers. These small and medium-sized retailers (bakeries, certain branches of Rotisserie Second Cup and St-Hubert, among many others) offer users meals, surplus perishables, products that are almost expired, even expired (but still edible), or even ugly at discounted prices Fruit and vegetables.

It’s very easy. You only have to open the application and you will see the partner companies in your area. And you just have to choose the products that interest you. You pay for your purchase online and collect your items at the collection time specified by the retailer, explains Johny Saliby. People can also get their hands on loot bags which are also very popular and again sold at a discount.

Backup Application President and CEO Johny Saliby at the premises of District 3, a Concordia University incubator that helps young people start their businesses.

Photo: Radio Canada / Bruno Larose

Johny Saliby realized early on the importance of not wasting food. At home, my parents always insisted that we eat everything on our plates. I think that’s because food in the Middle East is also something very cultural, very unifying.adds the 39-year-old man of Lebanese origin who was born and raised on Montreal’s West Island.

He points out that throwing these organic materials in the trash has serious consequences: Trapped in bags with other residues and then disposed of in landfills, the food releases methane, a greenhouse gas that is 84 times more potent over a 20-year period is as CO2. This therefore contributes greatly to global warming.

Fight against food waste One of the easiest ways to reduce greenhouse gases is to do your partargues Johnny Saliby.

There is no single solution to global warming. My application is one of them. »

A quote from Johnny Saliby

From humble beginnings in Montreal, the application now has a presence in Quebec, Gatineau, Ottawa and Sherbrooke. Toronto and other major Canadian cities will follow. A year after Safeguard was launched, the number of participating grocers has increased tenfold to almost 300. Johny Saliby estimates the number of users in Quebec at around 20,000.

The feedback from our customers is very positive. They find it interesting to do something for the planet while savingsays Johny Saliby.

When applying for a job, the young entrepreneur thinks big, really big. Sky is the limit, lance t-il. On vise tout le Canada d’ici 2030 et on est en négociation avec des partenaires plus importants.”,”text”:”Sky is the limit, lance t-il. On vise tout le Canada d’ici 2030 et on est en négociation avec des partenaires plus importants.”}}”>the sky is the limit, he says. We are targeting all of Canada by 2030 and are in negotiations with larger partners. In the longer term, the head of Safeguard wants to develop a charitable component that will allow retailers to distribute food to those in need in exchange for tax revenue.

A few tricks from Johnny Salby to reduce food waste

  • Organize your shopping better.
  • Plan your menu so you buy only what you need at the grocery store and plan for leftovers.
  • Compost your leftovers in the brown bin or use a compost bin.
  • If your community doesn’t have food waste collection, see if a nearby market or organization would accept your food for composting. Alternatively, your garden would be a good place to use organic waste compost.

There are other apps aimed at preventing food loss like Flashfood and FoodHero, which are affiliated with major grocery chains like IGA, Metro and Loblaw. TooGoodToGo is another, similar to Backup but more present in Europe, comments Johny Saliby. The entrepreneur explains that the specificity of Safeguarding is to seek the support of small and medium-sized retailers such as cafes, restaurants and bakeries.

Louise Hénault-Éthier, associate professor at the National Institute for Scientific Research (INRS) and director of the Center Eau, Terre, Environnement, is very positive about this application in Quebec. It’s really something useful. We need to encourage this kind of structuring and ongoing initiative, especially since food waste is a social justice issue because those in need don’t have access to all that food that’s still good and ends up in the binShe says.

If food waste were a country, it would rank third in the world in terms of its GHG contribution, behind the United States and China. »

A quote from Louise Henault Ethier

Do the authorities take this issue seriously enough? it’s coming, She answers. She cites a few examples: the city of Montreal implementing its zero waste vision and France, which has banned supermarkets from throwing away their unsold groceries since 2016. But we have to go to the next level, that is regulations, eco-fiscal measures like tax credits for food donations, surcharges or landfill fees, subsidies for companies that fight against food wastethe professor counts.

In the meantime, she invites consumers to try applications like Backup. The same observation applies to processors or food stakeholders, to whom she also suggests using any other tool (such as food brokers, food buyers, etc.) that can help them transition to circular economy models or reduce their carbon footprint. We must change our waysemphasizes Louise Hénault-Éthier.

Leave a Comment