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Kevin Davies, founder of Hop Compost

Thanks to Hop Compost, there’s now good reason to throw conventional wisdom out along with the leftovers and not finish everything on our plates at local restaurants. The crumbs from our meals could be nourishing your grocer’s next batch of organic carrots.

Hop’s founder, Kevin Davies, has taken the next step in the table-to-farm phenomenon by creating Canada’s first inner-city compost facility in southeast Calgary. Hop collects commercial food waste and turns it into high-yield organic compost.

He’s closing the loop from farm-to-table-back-to-farm.

“The goal is to make adoption of sustainable actions attainable for everyday people”, Davies has said.

Since its launch in 2015, Hop has saved over 5 million pounds of food waste from landfill. It has also crafted what the company bills as the most nutrient-rich compost in Canada to boost organic crop yields. Its organic craft compost has over seven times more organic nutrients than standard compost.

The world is starting to take notice of this innovative startup in Calgary’s growing agribusiness sector.

Davies was a finalist – from more than 1,200 entries globally – in Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards in 2017. The awards honor people and businesses making a global impact through innovation. 

He was also recently named one of Canada’s Top 30 under 30.

The inspiration for Hop Compost came when Davies was just 18. After his Labradoodle, Willy, became seriously ill after eating lawn fertilizer, he set out to find a more natural way to grow plants and food.

Armed with a supportive local investment community and critical lessons from his first business, Green Start Recycling, Davies secured exclusive rights in North America to a New-Zealand based technology and embarked on the opportunity he saw in commercial food waste.

Hop’s approach to inner-city composting cuts the production cycle from a minimum six months that is standard in the industry down to 11 days. It also creates a product with far more nutrients and has no odors traveling into nearby neighborhoods; one of the historical barriers to inner-city composting.

Two years after their Calgary facility’s launch, Hop Compost is now growing across Canada and into several cities in the United States.

Davies credits Calgary’s business ecosystem and entrepreneurial culture for kick-starting his success. Today, Hop Compost is providing more than 80 per cent of urban farms in Calgary its leading brand of nutrient-rich organic compost.

Table scraps are proving to be valuable in a world committed to reduce, reuse and recycle.

The company has been awarded the Quest Climate Grant for saving over 10 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, making a notable impact to the global challenge of climate change.

So forgive yourself the next time you leave a little on your plate at your next restaurant meal – Calgary’s Hop Compost will make good use of it.

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