A new e-tool has been launched in a bid to help Irish businesses to tackle food waste.

The hospitality and foodservices sector is responsible for over 200,000t of food waste generated each year. Across the Irish foodservice sector, approximately two-thirds of this is potentially avoidable.  

The total waste equates to an annual cost in excess of €300 million for the foodservice sector as a whole.

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has today (Tuesday, October 5) launched the Savour Food E-Tool, an initiative developed as part of the Savour Food programme.

Savour Food, which is implemented by the Clean Technology Centre at Munster Technological University and funded by the Department of Agriculture, is a food waste reduction programme for businesses and aims to bring about sustained change in terms of preventing food waste. 

The new e-tool, where foodservice businesses can assess how much waste is costing them and what they can do across the business to reduce it, is free to use and can be found online.

Too Good To Go launched in Ireland

Last week, on September 29, International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste took place.

To mark the occasion, Too Good To Go was launched in Dublin.

Too Good To Go, which is available in a number of countries around the world, allows businesses to reduce waste and generate income on food that otherwise would have been thrown away.

Through the free app, customers choose a restaurant or shop, order a surprise bag of surplus food at a reduced price and then collect it from the location during a pre-set collection window.

What is food waste?

Food waste, according to the UN, refers to the decrease in the quantity or quality of food resulting from decisions and actions by retailers, food service providers and consumers. Food is wasted in many ways:

  • Fresh produce that deviates from what is considered optimal, for example in terms of shape, size and colour, is often removed from the supply chain during sorting operations;
  • Foods that are close to, at or beyond the ‘best before’ date are often discarded by retailers and consumers;
  • Large quantities of wholesome edible food are often unused or left over and discarded from household kitchens and eating establishments.