Halifax-based Outcast Foods has received $100,000 after being named a semi-finalist in the Government of Canada's Food Waste Reduction Challenge. Twelve finalists will receive $400,000 and two winners will each receive $1,500,000. 

Outcast has been growing rapidly and recently closed a $10 million funding round, half of which came from District Ventures Capital, the fund led by Arlene Dickinson of Dragons’ Den. It was also awarded a business development incentive in the form of a Small Medium Enterprise Innovation Rebate by Nova Scotia Business Inc. 

Outcast says it is the only company in the world that has created technology that allows surplus upcycled fruits and vegetables to maintain micronutrients after processing in its zero-waste facility. The surplus produce is dried to create nutrient-dense wholefood powders that become new, sustainable food sources. The shelf-stable powders are used in both Outcast’s line of nutritional supplements and distributed to other companies for use in their own products

The new announcement names Outcast one of 24 semi-finalists chosen from 343 applicants in Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Food Waste Reduction Challenge.

The challenge was created to accelerate and advance diverse and high-impact solutions to food waste in Canada. In a statement, Outcast said it has the world’s first upcycling facility in Nova Scotia and is set to open a scale processing facility in Southern Ontario this summer. 

“Outcast Foods is restructuring the model of needless food waste, we’re excited to move on in the challenge and continue to scale our impact across Canada,” said Co-Founder TJ Galiardi.