Tesco Ireland has announced a nationwide partnership with Foodcloud, a food wastage startup that helps to redistribute surplus food to local charities.
Tesco initially ran a pilot programme with Foodcloud from October 2013 to February 2014 that saw 18 of the retailers stores redistribute surplus food on a daily basis to local charities. The scheme saw almost 27 tonnes of food being saved from landfill, which translates as almost 60,000 meals spread across 38 charities.
The initiative has now been expanded to all 146 of Tesco's Irish stores.
Foodcloud works by way of an innovative app that allows suppliers to indicate when they have surplus food stocks, and for charities in the area to connect and arrange for distribution of the food. The service was founded in 2012 by Trinity students Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O’Brien and has since gone through the NDRC's startup accelerator programme, Launchpad, as well as winning the Arthur Guinness Projects in 2013.
Trials with Foodcloud have been met with considerable success to date - since partnering with Foodcloud, Drogheda Homeless Aid has been able to reduce its weekly food costs by an average of 30%.
“We have come up with a fast and efficient solution to bring businesses and charities within the same communities together to make sure that no good food goes to waste,” said Ward. “We are currently developing a national database of charities and community groups to receive this food and call on any interested groups to register on Foodcloud.ie."