Minister McConalogue announces funding for food waste reduction project

Following a recent call for proposals for Food Waste Reduction Initiatives, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D. has announced that the FoodCloud Growers Project will receive €165,000 in funding this year under his Department’s Rural Innovation and Development Fund.

FoodCloud’s Growers’ Project

The project aims to establish a national programme for the redistribution of surplus food from growers to Community and Volunteer Organisations (CVOs) across Ireland. It will reduce farm-level food waste whilst providing fresh, nutritious produce to CVOs supporting those who need it most in communities across the country. The objective of the project will be to redistribute over 150 tonnes of surplus produce via FoodCloud’s three redistribution hubs in Dublin, Galway and Cork, making it available to more than 180 CVOs.

DAFM supported the initial research to establish this project as well as a pilot programme which took place in 2023. During the pilot, FoodCloud engaged with five growers and established that there were significant quantities of surplus vegetables available. They redistributed some of the surplus through new partnerships with three Local Development Companies in Donegal, Kerry and Cork and through FoodCloud’s existing charity network. The new funding being announced today will go towards expanding the project in scale and ramping up the redistribution of surplus produce.

Minister McConalogue said that, “Food waste reduction initiatives will further enhance the work previously funded to identify, target and address what is a rapidly growing issue not just here in Ireland but globally.”

Ireland generates 770,000 tonnes of food waste each year and the Minister concluded saying, “Irelands commitment to reduce food waste is reflected in national policy documents and my Department’s ambitious strategy for the agri-food sector Food Vision 2030 as well as the recently published Food Waste Prevention Road Map. It is now more important than ever to continue to develop initiatives to help to address this issue.”

(Source: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine)

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