On average, Irish households are wasting around 250,000 tons of food per year, which costs around 700 euro per household, and the United States is no different, wasting around $900 on unused food. For a college student, that is no small sum that is going to waste on just wasted food alone. However, there is a company leading the charge on preventing food waste in Ireland, taking inspiration from our own backyard through 412 Food Rescue – FoodCloud. FoodCloud has multiple hubs throughout Ireland which serve as bases to take in donations of food that has passed its “Best By …” date, and then distributing those items to charities that aid with food insecurity. They also utilize a lot of volunteer work, showing that the people who are working for them are passionate about their values and mission and are not just working for a profit. This has made them incredibly popular among the business world in Dublin, something that has been shown multiple times when receiving positive feedback on their work from pretty much every company we have visited so far. Their work has also integrated them into the community by partnering with larger local brands such as Aldi, LIDL, and Tesco Express to reduce food insecurity across the country. Despite being a bit farther away from other sites we’ve visited in center city, they have such a widespread impact throughout both Dublin and Ireland as a whole. Volunteer work is central to FoodCloud’s team, and is what makes FoodCloud’s business model so successful because, as stated, the people working their are incredibly passionate about the company’s mission to reduce food waste in Ireland. FoodCloud is also a benchmark for sustainable practices in reducing food waste, so they are most likely a point of reference for companies like Google who are seeking out ways to reduce their own food waste within their cafeteria. Both Google and Microsoft have food waste reduction programs implemented in their sustainability plans, and FoodCloud is right at the center of this initiative within Ireland.
FoodCloud has shown us just how large of an impact having people passionate about what they are doing at work can have. A company simply focused on profit and customer satisfaction is the bare minimum now, and companies like FoodCloud that serve a good purpose with a strong mission and values will always attract employees that want to give back to their community in any way they can. By having a core group of passionate volunteers working for something they truly believe in, FoodCloud has been able to expand quickly and will continue to do well.