FoodCloud makes the redistribution of surplus food as easy as possible, matching businesses with too much food, with charities in their community that have too little, tackling food waste and food poverty in the process.
Ireland generates approximately 1 million tonnes of food waste annually, making us the 5th largest waster of food in the EU. What makes this problem even more alarming is the reality that 1 in 10 Irish people are currently live in food poverty. Supermarkets, restaurants, cafés and caterers contribute significantly to the problem, but they are not solely to blame, with uncertain demand from consumers resulting in food often going unsold. This is perfectly good food that, as a consequence of the modern food system, fails to reach those that need it the most. With 450,000 Irish people going hungry, and businesses keen to improve efficiencies and reduce costs, Ireland is missing an exciting opportunity to resolve these two complementary challenges.
Determined to find a solution, Aoibheann and Iseult came together in 2013 to establish FoodCloud, an organisation committed to bringing the business community and charities together to reduce food waste and food poverty in Ireland. Using a smart phone app and website, FoodCloud makes the redistribution of surplus food as easy as possible, matching businesses with too much food, with charities that have too little. Retailers and businesses use the FoodCloud app to upload the details of their surplus food, with local charities receiving a text message notifying them of the availability of the donation. The charity can then collect this donation and distribute it to the individuals they support.
Since its foundation, FoodCloud has rapidly expanded operations. Following a successful pilot programme with 38 charities and 18 stores, the organisation signed a partnership agreement with retail giant Tesco, allowing for the rollout of the FoodCloud app to their 145 stores nationwide. Tesco Ireland expect this partnership to be cost neutral, cancelling out the costs traditionally associated with the disposal of their surplus food. To date, FoodCloud have facilitated the redistribution of 653 tonnes of surplus food, or more than 1.4 million meals, to a growing network of charities right around the country. Motivated by a desire to ensure that no good food goes to waste, Aoibheann and Iseult are perfectly positioned to become leaders in the fight against food waste not just in Ireland, but around the world.
SEI has been an amazing support for FoodCloud as we expanded quickly. The Award brought great credibility to our organisation too, which has enabled us to gain further support as we have grown.
Aoibheann O'Brien & Iseult Ward