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Tesco first retailer to donate all surplus food to charity using Foodcloud app Co-founders Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O’Brien Foodcloud and Christine Heffernan, corporate affairs director, Tesco Ireland

Tesco Ireland and social enterprise Foodcloud have announced a partnership that means all surplus food from Tesco’s 146 stores will be redistributed to charities and community groups through the use of Foodcloud’s app.

Two young social entrepreneurs, Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O’Brien set up Foodcloud in 2012 to connect businesses with surplus food with community groups and charities.

The venture has graduated from Trinity College Dublin’s Launchbox, NDRC’s start-up accelerator programme Launchpad and is a winners of the Arthur Guinness Projects.

It ran a pilot programme in 18 Tesco stores from October 2013 to February 2014, which involved Tesco donating almost 60,000 meals or 27 tonnes of food to 38 charities.

Since partnering with Foodcloud, Drogheda Homeless Aid has been able to reduce its weekly food costs by an average of 30pc.

“We have come up with a fast and efficient solution to bring businesses and charities within the same communities together to make sure that no good food goes to waste,” said Ward.

“The scale of our partnership with Tesco is unprecedented – on a daily basis we will now have access to all of Tesco’s surplus food to donate to the charities we work with.

“We are currently developing a national database of charities and community groups to receive this food and call on any interested groups to register on foodcloud.ie.

“Globally 30pc of food produced is never actually eaten. In Ireland, we generate one million tonnes of food waste every year.”