Nestlé to pay FoodCloud to save surplus food from landfill

Food giant to provide a per pallet financial contribution to Irish not-for-profit

James Marshall, supply chain manager at Nestlé Ireland and Aoibheann O’Brien, chief executive of FoodCloud. Photograph: Naoise Culhane

James Marshall, supply chain manager at Nestlé Ireland and Aoibheann O’Brien, chief executive of FoodCloud. Photograph: Naoise Culhane

 

FoodCloud has signed a deal with Nestlé that sees the company not only providing it with surplus food to redistribute, but also paying the social enterprise to take it away.

The move, a first for an Irish food supplier, is intended to create a new sustainable income stream for the award-winning not-for-profit. It is hoped that other industry partners will follow suit.

Under the agreement, Nestlé Ireland is to provide a per pallet financial contribution to FoodCloud to cover the costs to manage, store and redistribute surplus food, ensuring that it goes to charities, rather than to landfill.

The potential surplus stock includes coffee, confectionary and cereals, the food group said.

“We operate a robust and rigorous supply chain system that is designed to reduce surplus stock, however surplus stock does occur from time to time. Rather than having perfectly good food go to landfill, our products will go to people who will benefit from it,” said Andrew Shaw, country manager at Nestlé Ireland.

‘Monumental step’

FoodCloud was cofounded by Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O’Brien in 2013. It has developed a software platform that enables businesses to redistribute surplus food to charities via its redistribution hubs in Dublin, Cork and Galway.

The group is also operational in the UK. Almost 2,000 businesses provide surplus food to the company, including big grocery chains such as Tesco and Waitrose.

Since FoodCloud was established, more than 37 million meals have been provided to more than 7,000 charities across Ireland and the UK.

“Nestlé’s commitment to making a per pallet contribution is a monumental step towards FoodCloud hubs creating a sustainable income stream to cover our day-to-day administration and operating costs,” said Ms O’Brien.

“This will help us to expand our impact, rescue more surplus food and work with more charities across the country,” she added.

FoodCloud’s co-founders received a special contribution award at the 2017 EY Ireland Entrepreneur of the Year Awards for its work. Ms Ward was also last year named on Forbes’s prestigious “30 under-30 Europe” list of leading innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders.