East Cork tack­les food wastage

Irish Examiner - County - - News - Sean O’Rior­dan

A new drive to re­duce food wastage is be­ing spear­headed by a group in East Cork.

Savour Food is a re­cent­ly­launched pi­lot pro­gramme which works with lo­cal food pro­ces­sors, re­tail­ers and the food ser­vices sec­tor in the re­gion to help to­wards a ze­ro­food-waste strat­egy.

The group, or­gan­is­ing two forth­com­ing in­for­ma­tion ses­sions on Fe­bru­ary 13 and 28, works with lo­cal en­ter­prises help­ing them to stream­line their pro­cesses, fo­cus­ing on prac­ti­cal, en­vi­ron­ment cess ed, ally-friendly and so­ciallyaware best prac­tice, as well im­ple­ment­ing the very lat­est in tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments, to re­duce waste.

Cur­rently, the coun­try gen­er­ates ap­prox­i­mately 1.1 mil­lion tons of food waste yearly, with an es­ti­mated 40% from food pro­duc­tion and a fur­ther 34% gen­er­ated in the com­mer­cial sec­tor.

The Savour Food waste re­duc­tion ini­tia­tive is driven and sup­ported by The Clean Tech­nol­ogy Cen­tre at Cork In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy (CIT) along with Taste Cork and SECAD (South & East Cork Area De­vel­op­ment).

The pi­lot pro­gramme is funded by the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture, Food and the Marine’s ru­ral in­no­va­tion and de­vel­op­ment fund.

At the re­cent launch of Savour Food, spokesman for the ini­tia­tive, James Ho­gan, said food waste is a very se­ri­ous en­vi­ron­men­tal, eco­nomic and so­cial is­sue in Ire­land, but “it’s one that we can work to­gether to tackle and have a real im­pact”.

Savour Food fo­cuses on us­ing bet­ter ap­proaches to how food is pro­duced and pro- cre­at­ing strate­gies aimed at re­duc­ing waste and mak­ing use of the lat­est tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tions.

Mr Ho­gan said the pi­lot pro­gramme is about bring­ing peo­ple to­gether to solve a prob­lem, com­bin­ing the power of a whole re­gion with en­vi­ron­men­tal and in­dus­try ex­per­tise from CIT’s Clean Tech­nol­ogy Cen­tre, the Taste Cork net­work and SECAD pro­gramme.

“We hope to see the whole East Cork food sec­tor com­ing on board. East Cork can be­come a leader in sus­tain­able and waste-free food pro­duc­tion, giv­ing it a real com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage as an en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly and more so­cially re­spon­si­ble food pro­duc­tion re­gion,” Mr Ho­gan added.

Joe Burke, from Taste Cork, said he would “en­cour­age our Taste Cork mem­bers to sign up for the pro­gramme with­out de­lay, in or­der to se­cure a place on this very worth­while ini­tia­tive”.

Busi­nesses who would like to take part in the ini­tia­tive can visit savour­food.ie or e-mail: james.ho­gan@ctc­cork.ie, or call (021) 434 4864.

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