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RFP--Food Systems and the Environment Literature Review, Region of Waterloo Public Health

Project Summary:

Conduct a comprehensive review of the available peer-reviewed and grey literature which assesses how food systems impact the natural environment.


The food system - or the way food is grown, harvested, processed, packaged, distributed and ultimately disposed of can have an impact on our natural environment.   Work is needed to succinctly summarize current published works that quantitatively and qualitatively describe how the current global food system impacts the environment.

Scope of Work

The successful candidate will conduct a literature search detailing food systems and their impact on the environment.   Given the breadth and complexities associated with research, the work should focus on meta-analyses (reviews of reviews).  It is suspected that this work has likely been done in government documents or "grey literature" sources.  The review may be narrowed by focusing on North American sources, if appropriate: Ontario sources would be ideal.  The following is a suggested outline:
Food System Practice // Environmental Impact

Food Production

  • Energy use in each step of the food system including diesel, gasoline, electricity, etc. // Energy use, Air quality, climate change
  • Agricultural Inputs including pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, etc.    // Air, water and soil health and energy, air quality, climate change, pests/disease
  • Irrigation // Water quality and quantity, Soil impacts
  • De-forestation // Loss of biodiversity, habitat, watershed, soil erosion

Food Processing

  • Canning, freezing and preparation of food. // Energy use, waste, consumption of materials (aluminium, glass) for canning

Food Distribution/Marketing

  • Transportation/shipping // Energy use, Air quality, climate change
  • Packaging // Impacts in landfills, energy use (e.g. producing plastics), depletion of resources

Food Disposal // Impacts in landfills, water and air; Spreading of sludge

This work is being commissioned and administered by the Healthy Communities and Policy program  at Region of Waterloo Public Health (ROWPH).

Conditions of Contract:
Final copies of produced work can be provided to ROWPH in electronic format. The products developed in this contract will be entirely owned by ROWPH. Contractor must work off site and be able to provide appropriate GST #, insurance documentation.

Application Process:

To indicate your interest in this contract, please provide the following information by 4pm on Friday, January 9, 2009:

  • A letter outlining your interest, qualifications, and examples of relevant experience
  • A current resume
  • A sample of previous similar work
  • Costs (the maximum budget for this research project is $15,000, including all taxes and disbursements)

Proposals should be sent to:

Region of Waterloo Public Health
PO Box 1633, 99 Regina St S
Waterloo, ON N2J 4V3
Fax: 519-883-2241
Attention: Marc Xuereb

A decision will be made on the successful candidate by Friday, January 16.  Only the successful candidate will be contacted.

The work is expected to be completed by February 27, 2009 (negotiable).

[Source: hpoph-l,]