Business Irish

Sunday 20 October 2019

FoodCloud wins AIB backing for growth

Iseult Ward, co-CEO of FoodCloud, which has secured significant investment from AIB
Iseult Ward, co-CEO of FoodCloud, which has secured significant investment from AIB

Fearghal O'Connor, Deputy Business Editor

FoodCloud is aiming to double its operation over the next three years after securing investment of €1.5m from AIB.

The deal will also see FoodCloud - a social enterprise that rescues waste food and distributes it to thousands of charities - receive part-matched Government funding through the Social Innovation Fund Ireland (SIFI) of just under €1m between now and 2020.

FoodCloud was set up in Ireland in 2013 by Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O'Brien. It has since created a bespoke technology platform that connects thousands of food businesses directly to local charities to donate surplus food through its three warehouse hubs in Dublin, Cork and Galway. The company has grown rapidly since its inception and has redistributed over 40 million meals to over 9,500 charities all over Ireland and the UK.

"It's really fantastic news for FoodCloud," said co-CEO Ward. "It is the first time that we have had a long-term view of funding. Having this security and funding in place until 2020 really allows us to start putting the plans in place to ensure that we can continue to grow our impact but also have a long and sustainable future."

The FloodCloud platform - which allows retailers, farmers and manufacturers to alert local charities to the availability of surplus food - is used by most of the major retail chains, with 3,200 supermarkets donating regularly across the UK and Ireland. FoodCloud is "barely at the tip of the iceberg" in terms of the amount of food that could be rescued, said Ward. It rescues approximately 700 tonnes of food a month across Ireland.

AIB has committed to investing €500,000 a year. This will be further supported by financial and non-financial supports to the value of €330,000 a year for three years from SIFI's new Growth Fund which has been established by the Department of Rural and Community Development from the Dormant Accounts Fund.

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