Surplus Redistribution from the Irish Produce Sector


This project is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and seeks to investigate the potential for increasing surplus food redistribution from the Irish horticulture sector. There is evidence which has been recently studied through Munster Technological University and confirmed through the Efficient Food Project that a significant amount of edible food is being ‘wasted’ (AD, animal feed, in-field) in the sector and that with the correct intervention and financial support for producers, redistribution of edible products could become a more attractive option.

This project, inspired by a project in the UK, Fareshare’s ‘Surplus with Purpose’ fund, aims to shed light on the situation in an Irish context and trial innovative solutions to facilitate the redistribution of surplus food from the horticulture sector to the charity sector, thereby reducing food waste and addressing food insecurity in Ireland.

FoodCloud will lead the project but will be supported by Munster Technological University who have recently completed EPA funded research in this area through the Efficient Food Project.

The project will be split into three separate phases as outlined below and over a 10-month period. – Research phase (CircBio) that will investigate the level of waste that is occurring in the sector, understand what level of “waste” would be suitable for redistribution and identify the barriers to redistributing this surplus food to the charitable sector. Trial phase (FoodCloud) that will use the data from the research phase to select a group of suitable growers to work with FoodCloud to direct surplus edible food to redistribution. This will involve FoodCloud covering the cost for donation of food, the fund will see that donors’ costs are compensated.

Conclusions and recommendations phase (FoodCloud and CircBio) that will gather reliable information of the waste profile of the produce sector, understand the barriers to redistribute edible surplus produce from the horticulture sector to charity sector, develop sustainable solutions to overcome current barriers, reduce the amount of food that is wasted and increase food security.

Project details

June 2021 – January 2022

DAFM – €59,400


  • FoodCloud