Wednesday, October 6, 2021



Undertaking to reduce food waste is on the menu for Irish foodservice businesses this year. As part of the Savour Food Programme, funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, a new e-tool for foodservice businesses has been launched.
President of MTU Prof Maggie Cusack (left), Savour Food Programme Manager Keelin Tobin, MTU, and Charlie McConalogue TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine at the launch.

Five facts about food waste in Ireland

It is estimated that every year the Irish food sector wastes 150,000 tonnes of food.

The main sources of food waste in the Irish foodservice sector are plate waste (38%), preparation waste (35%) and unserved food waste (27%).

A proportion of ‘unavoidable’ food waste comes from peelings and off-cuts. On average, this waste accounts for just 25% of food waste thrown away.

Food waste has been calculated to cost €2.73 - €3.50 per kilogram.

If food waste cannot be prevented, donating or distributing to people is the next best option. More information is available from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.

(Information from the Less Food Waste More Profit publication from the Clean Technology Centre at Munster Technological University (MTU).

Savour Food is a food waste reduction programme for businesses and it aims to bring about sustained change in Irish businesses in terms of food waste prevention. Savour Food is now offering a free online facility where foodservice businesses can assess how much food waste might be costing and what they can do across the business to reduce it. The e-tool is free to use and can be found at

The Cost of Food Waste

The user can (a) identify the true cost of food waste generated by their business (b) obtain a food waste benchmark which can be compared against national standards for good practice and (c) identify the cost saving that could be achieved by reducing food waste to good practice standards.

Bins: The Basics

This section focuses on waste segregation, awareness and training, and waste management.

The Quick Fixes

This section outlines simple and low-cost food waste prevention actions that the user will apply and these will then be provided in a downloadable action plan for the kitchen team.

Advice from the kitchen

Find out what some of Ireland’s most respected industry professionals have to say about food waste, including: JB Dubois of Grow HQ, Victor Murphy of O’Mahony’s Watergrasshill, Michael Lennon of Westport Woods Hotel, Pat Ferriter of Ferrit & Lee Restaurant and Eunice Power of Eunice Power Catering.

Announcing the launch of the e-tool, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue, TD, 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 says “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.”

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 by the Clean Technology Centre, MTU Cork, and supported by stakeholders.

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