Minister Charlie McConalogue launches Savour Food E-tool at MTU Cork

October 2021

President of MTU Prof Maggie Cusack, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue and Savour Food Programme Manager Keelin Tobin attended the launch of the online tool at MTU Cork on Monday October 4th. Delighted to welcome him to campus to meet in person, Keelin presented Minister McConalogue with a pot of homemade blackberry and apple jam.

Announcing the launch of the e-tool, Minister McConalogue said:

“Last Wednesday marked International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Food Waste so it is an ideal time to announce the launch of the Savour Food E-Tool which can be used free of charge by all food service businesses to assist with food waste reduction. This ties in with the ambition of the Departments strategy “Food Vision 2030” which provides a path forward to half food waste in Ireland by 2030. The hospitality and food services sector is responsible for over 200,000 tonnes of food waste generated each year. Across the Irish food service sector approximately two-thirds of food waste is potentially avoidable. Total food waste equates to an annual cost well in excess of €300 million for the food service sector as a whole so this e-tool is a vital resource for any food business. I am delighted that my Department is in a position to continue to fund this worthwhile initiative”.

Savour Food Programme Manager Keelin Tobin said:

“Chefs and staff in hospitality are so skilled. They are important stakeholders in the fight against food waste and that is why I am delighted that this online tool both showcases what is already being done in the sector, as well as providing a support for any foodservice business endeavouring to reduce food waste. It’s good for business and it’s good for our planet.”

While the foodservice industry has been faced with unprecedented challenges on account of Covid-19, with the impacts being widely felt, the Savour Food programme aims to position its supports and resources to support a resilient and resource efficient food sector. With the opening up of the sector, businesses have been keen to take action regarding a problem that has not gone away – food waste. Bord Bia’s 2021 Irish Foodservice Industry White Paper cites a return to sustainable practices as a key macro trend for 2021 (and beyond), with the importance of sustainability with a particular emphasis on food waste expected to return and accelerate.

The Savour Food programme provides a free service to food businesses that includes direct consultancy, food waste prevention training and advice on legal obligations in relation to food waste management. The Savour Food programme is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine. The programme is managed by the Clean Technology Centre (MTU Cork), and supported by stakeholders.

DKANE 04/10/2021 RPRO FREE
President of MTU Prof Maggie Cusack, Charlie McConalogue TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Savour Food Programme Manager Keelin Tobin, MTU launching the new e-tool for foodservice businesses by the Savour Food Programme. PIC Darragh Kane