The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue has today (Tuesday, May 31) confirmed funding of €180,000 for food-waste-reduction projects.

The announcement comes as National Food Waste Recycling Week, which encourages people to recycle their food waste and contribute to a circular and green economy, kicked off yesterday (Monday, May 30).

The new national campaign from runs until next Monday (June 6), and will provide advice on how people can start to recycle more.

tillage food security green waste Minister McConalogue
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue

This allocation will be made available under the Rural Innovation and Development Fund which aims to energise the rural economy by encouraging innovative job creation and sustainable enterprise development.

Funding has been made available to the following successful projects:

  • Clean Technology Centre at Munster Technological University (MTU) – the continued development and roll out of the Savour Food Programme (€59,000);
  • Food Cloud – FoodCloud Apple Gleaning Project (€60,000);
  • Foodie Save – this is the further development and expansion of a mobile application (app) which allows businesses in the commercial food sector to sell their unsold surplus food at the end of their business day thereby reducing food waste (€30,500);
  • Carlow County Council – Delivery of a new programme ‘Optimization+’ which brings together supports for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the food, drink and hospitality sector to develop an effective circular economy model for their treatment of food and food waste (€30,500).

Minister McConalogue also explained that the funding is in line with United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals, which call on all nations to halve food waste and reduce food loss by 2030.

“These 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,” he said.

“Ireland generates over one million tonnes of food waste each year. It is now more important than ever to continue to develop initiatives to help to address this issue.

“Processing and transporting food uses a huge amount of resources.

“Continued focus on preventing food waste and recycling food waste will help individuals and households to reduce our carbon footprint, save money, and also demonstrate that we value and respect the work of our farmers, fishers, and other food producers,” the minister concluded.

A study by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that approximately half of household organic waste was being disposed of in the wrong bins.

Food that is disposed of correctly can be transformed into renewable energy and bio-fertilisers for horticulture and agricultural use.