By: Iseult Ward
Ireland is the fifth worst offender in Europe for wasting good food. 2014 is the European Year Against Food Waste and Foodcloud has the technology to move Ireland to the top of the class.
With our snazzy app, we match businesses with surplus food with their local community organisations. This low-cost local solution captures food that capital intensive physical food banks can’t use.
About the Project
Did you know… 1 million tonnes of food is wasted in Ireland while over 600,000 people face food poverty. The downturn is making the situation for many families even more difficult. Meanwhile, rising waste costs for business is making it harder for them to survive.
Our solution? To make the process of redistributing food—from those who have too much to those who have too little—much easier.
Foodcloud was started by students who having witnessed people struggling to feed themselves began to do some research. The facts spoke for themselves; copious amounts of food were being wasted when people in our cities were going hungry. So we decided to do something about it.
Foodcloud was born from the combination of idealistic fervour and the encouragement and support of Enactus (a community of student, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better more sustainable world).
Since then Foodcloud has gone from strength to strength. We have a snazzy app and we have businesses and charities that want to help right the current situation and restore some of that old Irish community spirit based on shared food.
But that’s only the beginning. Our plans are in place and the technology is there but to change the world we need help. And we need help from people like you. People who work in the food industry. People who see the amount of waste that happens as a natural by product of working with fresh ingredients. People who love food. But most importantly—people who see everyday the difference a meal can make to people. How people open up over a cup of tea, how really conversation happens at the dinner table. We want to enable community groups to have those conversations with the people that need the help the most.
So how does it work? It’s deliciously simple! By using technology, contracts and a rich network of local businesses and community organisations and all without the need for a physical food bank.
Using our app, or through a website, businesses who have registered with Foodcloud, can upload details of their surplus food and the time period in which the food can be collected. The app then automatically sends a text message to the nearest community organisation in that area. If they accept the offer, the community group collects it directly from the business. If they reject the offer (not every food type suits every organisation), the offer is then sent to the next nearest organisation and so on.
Food businesses make every effort not to waste good food but it is inevitable that occasionally good food will go unsold. Those who work with food hate to see it go to waste. Foodcloud ensures that their hard work does not go unappreciated. Even better, reducing waste saves them money. We will also help businesses monitor and record their edible food waste thus ultimately helping them to reduce waste and protect our environment.
Those helping the most needy in our community are under great pressure. Hard times have meant they have to do more with less. Foodcloud will help reduce the food budgets of these organisations and for others enable them to use food to enhance the good work they already do.
Foodcloud’s simple model doesn’t require significant investment, yet it can be replicated in every town in Ireland. We just need your support and most importantly your vote to get started. Now is our time to make Ireland an example for others to follow. Not only by reducing our food waste but also by working together to restore some of that old Irish community spirit based on shared food.
Thank you for taking the time to read this proposal, please don’t forget to vote.