FoodCloud collaborates with farmers to redistribute food waste
13 July 2023
FoodCloud is calling on farmers in Ireland to get involved in its Growers’ Project after a successful pilot programme run with the support of the Irish government and Tesco.
The 2022 trial saw 30 tonnes of food redistributed with targets for the full project now doubled to 60 tonnes of produce, avoiding emissions of approximately 192,000kgs of CO2 equivalent. That amounts to around 130,000 meals, enough to feed a full capacity Croke Park and Aviva Stadium combined.
Latest research indicates that more than 40% of food produced globally is wasted, including an estimated 15% that is lost during harvest which equates to approximately 1.2 billion tonnes. This places huge pressure on the planet’s natural resources, with a significant environmental impact.
The Growers’ Project is an initiative led by FoodCloud, with the support of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, aimed at reducing food waste at farm level by connecting growers who have surplus produce with community groups located around the country.
FoodCloud CEO and co-founder Aoibheann O’Brien said: “We’re calling on farmers all across the country to get involved in the Growers’ Project after its very successful pilot programme. Our target is to redistribute 60 tonnes of produce that would not otherwise have been harvested or which might have been sent for animal feed. During the pilot we discovered that there are large volumes of grade two vegetables that are currently not reaching the market, and therefore the project presents a huge opportunity to take action against climate change by reducing food waste while supporting vulnerable communities with access to nutritious, high quality, Irish vegetables.
“Farmers are crucial partners in this shared effort and our experience so far is that growers are keen to play their part in tackling this important environmental issue. Farm level loss is significant globally and in Ireland, and this project supports the new National Strategy for Horticulture 2023-2027, the National Food Waste Prevention Roadmap, Food Vision 2030, and the Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy.”
The FoodCloud Growers’ Project will receive funding of almost €180,000 from the Rural Innovation and Development Fund through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Minister Charlie McConalogue said: “Food waste costs the average Irish home approximately €700 per year and it is estimated that between 8% and 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions are as a result of food waste. So, by tackling food waste we improve the climate while saving money.”
If growers or producers are interested in working with FoodCloud on this project, they should email firstname.lastname@example.org