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Agricultural waste upcycling innovation wins Green Pursuit Competition

A Canadian start-up turning agricultural and food waste into compostable fibres has been named the winner of The Green Pursuit, a national sustainability and innovation challenge powered by Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) and Bioenterprise, Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine.

The winner, Aruna Revolution of Nova Scotia, will receive the $45,000 grand prize for its unique approach to reducing some of Canada’s 35.5 million tonnes of food loss and waste. The company uses parts of plants that humans cannot digest to make 100% biodegradable, compostable, plastic-free menstrual pads.

The company’s proprietary “farm to fibre” process means a wide range of farm fibre by-products can be upcycled into sanitary pads, giving farmers new market opportunities for by-products that are often left on fields and women access to environmentally friendly, sustainable period products.

“We are very grateful for the opportunity to participate in The Green Pursuit. The feedback we received during the pitch practice helped us craft something that emphasized our work with the agriculture sector of Canada,” says Rashmi Prakash, co-founder of Aruna Revolution. “The thoughtful questions from the judges allowed us to reflect on how we can improve our work. The funding we are receiving from this prize will be critical in the growth of our company.”

Advanced AgriScience from British Columbia was the runner-up of the competition, receiving $5,000 for their solution to the challenge of frost damage in the sector, particularly fruit and vegetable production.

The company has developed the world’s first frost protection tool for plants made of naturally occurring micro-organisms and protective proteins. The dry powder is mixed with water and spray-applied to prevent frost formation on plants, resulting in an up to 95% cost savings per acre without emitting greenhouse gasses or using large quantities of water. Currently, farmers in the horticulture sector in particular use a variety of tools, like sprinklers, frost fans, helicopters, and wood fires, to minimize or prevent crop damage and loss due to frost.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to pitch and receive funding from Bioenterprise Canada and Dairy Farmers of Canada,” says Collin Juurakko, founder of Advanced AgriScience. “This funding will allow us to conduct vital research as we develop our novel frost protection technology to deliver cost-effective solutions for growers. We are excited and look forward to joining Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine.”

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Border View Farms is a mid-sized family farm that sits on the Ohio-Michigan border. My name is Nathan. I make and edit all of the videos posted here. I farm with my dad, Mark and uncle, Phil. Our part-time employee, Brock, also helps with the filming. 1980 was our first year in Waldron where our main farm is now. Since then we have grown the operation from just a couple hundred acres to over 3,000. Watch my 500th video for a history of our farm I filmed with my dad.