Donegal Minister Charlie McConalogue visited the Donegal Local Development Company last Friday to praise local efforts to reduce food waste.
The visit coincided with the UN International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste.
Donegal LDC is working closely with FoodCloud through its partnership on the FoodCloud Growers Project which involves the re-distribution of fresh produce, which otherwise may have gone to waste, to those in need.
Minister Charlie McConalogue, T.D., said that tackling food waste is a key element in achieving a sustainable food system.
Speaking in Letterkenny at Donegal LDC, Minister McConalogue said: “I commend all of those involved in this partnership between Donegal Local Development Company and FoodCloud together with the 17 community and voluntary organisations that make up the Donegal Response network, and the participating growers for their work in supporting members of our community.
“Projects like these ensure that not only is valuable fresh produce is saved from being wasted, but the produce is distributed across the county to those who need it most. These actions, with the participation from everyone right along the food chain, play a key part in helping us reduce to food waste.“
Minister McConalogue added: “The key to leadership in Sustainable Food Systems is to achieve a genuine balance between the three dimensions of sustainability, social, economic and environmental sustainability. Taking action to tackle food waste will be one of the key elements to achieving this.
“I am pleased that my Department could fund the FoodCloud’s Growers Project this year through the Rural Innovation and Development Fund. This support is aligned with the Food Waste Prevention Roadmap’s aim to support social enterprises and community-based initiatives that promote surplus food redistribution from sectors such as retail and primary production.
“I wish both FoodCloud and Donegal LDC every success in their partnership and I look forward to seeing how the project develops.”
The 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals include a commitment to halving per-capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reducing food losses along production and supply chains.
Ireland’s Food Waste Charter asks food sector businesses to Pledge, Measure, Reduce, and Report on food waste. Reducing Food Loss and Food Waste presents an opportunity to improve the overall sustainability of our food systems.