Today we had my team’s site visit at FoodCloud, a nonprofit organization who connects charities with excess food. I may be biased, but this was probably my favorite company to learn more about. I was very impressed by the work FoodCloud is doing and their genuine desire to help others. Unlike most businesses, FoodCloud has not put a lot of time into marketing their own brand. Instead, they focus on giving attention to the charities and community groups that they work with. They have made a name for themselves in Ireland with little to no marketing strategy. This is most likely because the work that they are doing is well respected and loved by the Irish people. With the potato famine defining much of Ireland’s history, it is no surprise that food waste and hunger are important concerns for the Irish people. After hearing about the ease and simplicity of FoodCloud’s business model, I was curious as to why certain businesses would not be willing to work with the organization. The answer was simple: businesses are worried about devaluing their food and taking on unnecessary expenses and procedures. The ultimate challenge for FoodCloud moving forward will be getting these additional retailers on board in order to grow. It was also cool to hear that FoodCloud was inspired by the work of 412 Food Rescue, a local nonprofit in Pittsburgh doing similar work. Overall, I was very interested to hear how FoodCloud is going above and beyond to solve food waste and world hunger. I would love to see them grow and expand, especially in the states. I actually had previously heard of a similar company, TooGoodToGo, that connects people with cafes and stores with leftover food at the end of each day. FoodCloud says that they are very happy to see the work TooGoodToGo is doing and they in no way consider them competitors. After hearing this, I decided to try out the service and picked up a box of donuts at The Rolling Donut right here in Dublin. I would definitely recommend the app, and will be trying it back at home as it is available in select US Cities as well!
From working with my FoodCloud team on this program, I have realized the value in having different perspectives. In classes, I tend to be grouped together with friends who share similar opinions. On this trip, I was grouped with people I did not really know beforehand and it was very beneficial to hear the different points of view when discussing our project. I really felt like each member brought something different to the table during both our site visit and our recap presentation. FoodCloud has already, and will continue, to make an impact in our world and I would love to see our group provide some insight into how they can grow.