“One in eight people in Ireland suffer from food poverty and one million tonnes of food is thrown out by Irish consumers and businesses every year.” Aoibheann O’Brien
Aoibheann O’Brien is one in an excellent line-up of speakers at National Digital Week 2016 in Skibbereen (November 10-12). Aoibheann, whose father hails from Kilbrittain in West Cork, is a co-founder of the social enterprise FoodCloud, an innovative initiative established in 2012 that connects businesses with too much food with charities that can use it.
On a global scale, it is estimated that almost one billion people don’t have enough to eat and approximately 30 per cent of food produced for human consumption is wasted across the food supply chain.
“One in eight people in Ireland suffer from food poverty and one million tonnes of food is thrown out by Irish consumers and businesses every year,” explains Aoibheann.
To-date FoodCloud and FoodCloud Hubs have redistributed over 3000 tonnes of food, which translates as seven million meals.
“We’re very excited to be using our technology to solve social problems on a global scale,” says Aoibheann.
Using the FoodCloud app, participating businesses can upload details of their surplus food and the time period in which the food can be collected. This automatically sends a text message to a charity in their local community who goes and collects the food. FoodCloud Hubs rescue large volumes of surplus food and redistributes to charities via three redistribution hubs in Cork, Galway and Dublin.
Aoibheann, who worked in investment banking in London before starting up FoodCloud, is excited to be a part of something that makes a difference every day. “Ireland could be a leader this and could be a leader in reducing food waste,” she says passionately.
“We work with a network of 300 charities in Ireland and are really fortunate that big retailers like Tesco, Aldi and the Musgrave group have come on board.
“We’re looking for more food industry businesses to come forward; we’d be delighted to have more small artisan producers or food manufacturers in West Cork on board, making sure that good food gets eaten and is not wasted.”
For more information go to http://food.cloud/.
If you are a charity that is interested in receiving food through FoodCloud, please ring the Support Team on 083 190 25 85. If you are a business and want to sign up to FoodCloud, please email Helen at firstname.lastname@example.org.