Irish food businesses seek industry support for Tallaght based company

by Padraig Conlon
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Tallaght based company FoodCloud have launched a series of case study videos to raise awareness and inspire action around food waste in Ireland.

The initiative from FoodCloud, which is in partnership with high profile food industry and charity partners, calls on all Irish manufacturers, suppliers, and farmers to join the growing number of partners in donating their surplus food to charities all over Ireland. 

FoodCloud, which was established in 2013 by Isuelt Ward and Aoibheann O’Brien, provides an end-to-end solution for the distribution and reuse of surplus food which has sustainable impact on the global environment, through their efficient technology and warehouse solution.

They are currently working with over 150 food donation partners to provide 650 charities all across Ireland with access to perfectly good food that might otherwise go to waste. 

30% of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted across the global food system; this amounts to approximately 1.3 billion tonnes per year or 8% of global GHG emissions.

The problem of surplus food is one that almost every Irish food manufacturer and retailer has to face as it is impossible to match the supply and demand of food.

FoodCloud provides an environmentally sensitive, socially responsible and economically viable alternative to food disposal.

Speaking about the initiative FoodCloud CEO Iseult Ward said:

“As part of the Climate Action Plan, Ireland has committed to halving food waste by 2030.

“We are delighted that our partners are supporting FoodCloud in calling on other food businesses to join us on the journey towards Ireland becoming a leader in the fight against food waste, towards SDG 12.3”

Supported by the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Waste Prevention Programme, the initiative sees FoodCloud partnering with food industry and charity partners to create a series of webfilms demonstrating collaboration throughout Ireland’s supply chain.  

Featured companies include Tesco, Lidl and Aldi; plus food producers Nestlé Ireland, Arrabawn Dairies, Hilton Foods and the Meade Potato Company.

The films highlight the impact companies have made on the local community by collaborating with FoodCloud and how rewarding the process of food redistribution can be.

During his opening address at the EPA Food Waste Forum, where the films had their first viewing, Minister of Communications, Climate Action & Environment Richard Bruton said: “Over 1 million tonnes of food is wasted every year in Ireland. About 70 per cent of this comes from industry costing Irish business over €2 billion annually. As part of the Climate Action Plan, we have committed to halving food waste by 2030. Delivering on this ambition will require a collaborative effort from government, enterprise, the EPA and pioneers such as FoodCloud who are leading the change in this area.”

To date, FoodCloud have redistributed over 19 million meals across Ireland which equates to an estimated equivalent food value of over €24 million. 

The savings made on food bills allow FoodCloud’s charity partners to reallocate resources back into their core services, providing additional support for the communities in which they operate.

Tim Ryan, Senior Operations Manager, Cheeverstown House said:“We could have the equivalent of two full time posts, created out of the savings that we have made over the last couple of years with FoodCloud, which is a huge saving.”

Also speaking about the importance of the initiative, FoodCloud Co-Founder, Aoibheann O’Brien, said:  “Although food donations may be only a small percentage of a business’ overall products, it is still hugely significant for the charity sector. 

“The initiative showcases how national and international businesses are working alongside their local charities, creating global action at a local level and we hope that we can inspire all players to get involved.”

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