Thank you, Ms. Nassif.
Let me start by saying that food waste is an absolute critical priority for every one of the Retail Council of Canada's members. It isn't only the right thing to do from a consumer perspective, it also financially doesn't make sense to be losing product, so on a number of levels this is critical to our members.
Every single one of the members of the Retail Council participates in food waste programs from composting to fleet management. For instance, there's making sure that when a refrigeration unit comes in with product it also is going back out with, for instance, produce for composting and that sort of thing. Again, that makes sense both from an environmental and a food waste perspective, as well as from a financial perspective.
Every one of them has partnerships with food banks in order to minimize food waste. The members I've been speaking with have indicated that the food banks currently don't have the infrastructure to handle all of the products that the members are in a position to donate to them.
That being said, I want to raise two critical elements here, number one is Canadians who look to food banks in order to supplement their diets deserve the same level of food safety as any other Canadian, so when there's a food that is past its expiry date and when something becomes dangerous, it's the responsibility of the retailer to dispose of that product in a way that is safe.
Number two, a big portion of food waste has to do with what's happening in the home. That's a big part of the conversation that I find isn't always part of the conversation and should be. I think of the role of consumer education in terms of how long you can store a raw meat product, for example; how long can you store it after it's cooked; how to properly store it; hand washing; refrigeration; all that kind of stuff. I think consumer education is a critical part of that piece and that's where the members continue to invest a lot of their energy and that's worth pursuing.