FoodCloud connects the food industry with charities is attempting to eradicate food waste by redirecting surplus produce: its goal is to make sure surplus food makes it onto a dinner plate, instead of becoming waste.
The Irish company is expanding in Australia, the Czech Republic, and Poland this year.
Founded by Aoibheann O’Brien and Iseult Ward, the group have redistributed over 22,000 tonnes of food to charities and community groups in Ireland and the UK, using FoodCloud’s technology platform and redistribution network, in partnership with FareShare.
FoodCloud works in a few different ways. It partners with some of the largest supermarket chains in Ireland and the U.K., including Tesco, Lidl, Aldi and Waitrose. Supermarkets can upload the details of their surplus food via the FoodCloud retailer app, then charities who have signed up will receive a notification alerting them of the food availability. The food needs to be collected by the respective charity, but apart from that the service is free of charge.
The company licences this technology to international food banks and food rescue organizations and charges them an annual fee towards the cost of running it.
In Ireland, FoodCloud has distribution hubs in Dublin, Cork, and Galway where surplus food is stored, from which charities can make an order for delivery or collection.
Every minute, 28 meals are redistributed via FoodCloud and in 2018 alone over 15.4m meals were redistributed to people instead of going to waste.
According to the FAO, each year 95-115 kilograms of food is wasted per capita in Europe and North America. Globally the amount of food waste is an estimated 1.3 billion tons, or one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year.