Farrah So | ALES Graduate Seminar

Date(s) - 21/09/2022
8:00 am - 9:00 am

A graduate exam seminar is a presentation of the student’s final research project for their degree.
This is an ALES MSc Final Exam Seminar by Farrah So. This seminar is open to the general public to attend.

Meeting ID: 980 6358 3869 Passcode: 343317
Find your local number: https://ualberta-ca.zoom.us/u/abdvDKMxXb

Thesis Topic: Finding an Appetite for Reducing Food Waste: Drivers of Commercial Food Waste Management Practices in Alberta, Canada

MSc with Dr. John Wolodko.

Seminar Abstract:

Considerable quantities of food waste have been observed globally. Reducing it can potentially mitigate the environmental burden of the agri-food sector and improve the utilization of food resources. The commercial food sector, including food manufacturers, retailers, and food service establishments, contributes substantially to food waste generated in Canada. Prevention and diversion from landfill are two pathways to reduce this waste; however, drivers for adopting these measures are not well studied. The occurrence of pro-environmental and pro-social behaviours in businesses, including commercial food waste reduction, has been shown to be influenced by managers’ environmental concern and altruism, incentives, and corporate support. However, other factors that may motivate the adoption of prevention and diversion strategies, such as demographic factors, prioritization of economic gains and valuing collaboration, have not been addressed in the literature. A survey was conducted of 147 representatives from food establishments in Alberta, who were mostly managers and owners. Constructs from an extended Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) model were regressed through binary, fractional, and ordinal probit models to identify the relative contributions of belief, attitude, and demographic factors towards the probability of voluntarily adopting measures to reduce food waste. Subjective norms, perceived behavioural control, intention, environmental beliefs, collaborative beliefs, business size, and years of experience increased the probability of adopting certain measures to address food waste. Business location influenced the reported amount of food waste produced and the percent of food waste sent to landfill, with businesses in Calgary tending to report the lowest rates. Stronger economic beliefs positively influenced the landfill rate. Respondents seemed sensitive to financial considerations, showing a low willingness to pay for waste diversion services and perceiving monetary incentives as the most effective instrument to reduce food waste compared to recognition, collaboration, and information provision. This work hopes to contribute to pro-environmental literature and knowledge for policy and industry as a unique case study of primarily small-sized enterprises in western Canada.