The Cliffs of Moher/Galway & FoodCloud

Cliffs of Moher/Galway:  Give us your observations on what stood out to you during your tour of the Cliffs of Moher and the City of Galway.

When we went to the Cliffs of Moher, I was surprised by how quickly the weather could change. It went from pouring to sunny in about a minute, which was a welcome change. The cliffs were beautiful, and I was happy that it was clear enough to see them because I was worried it would be too foggy. The city of Galway was an interesting city because there were more touristy areas as well as more authentic areas and it was a great place to get souvenirs for my family. There were so many different items made right in Ireland, which made great gifts. Everyone was so friendly, and we ate at a great restaurant called The Quays.

FoodCloud: In preparation for your site visit to FoodCloud, this organization has a deep commitment to supporting the local food system in Ireland.  Just from reading the article, it resembles an organization in Pittsburgh, 412 Food Rescue, which supports the local food system in Pittsburgh through an emphasis on reducing food waste through food recovery and distributing excess food to local food banks.  Based on your quick review of the article on FoodCloud, identify one commercial opportunity and one commercial challenge they are addressing in their efforts to support local food systems.

One commercial opportunity FoodCloud is taking advantage of is the surplus of food from grocery stores and farmers’ markets. They saw an opportunity to put the extra food to good use by giving it to charities such as the EU Food Aid Program by partnering with the Department of Social Protection. A commercial challenge FoodCloud is trying to address is the need for funding and volunteers to help redistribute the food. They have solved the funding issue by partnering with AIB and the Social Innovation Fund Ireland to receive the necessary funds to collect and transport the food. In addition, many people have recently decided to donate their time to the organization because of the amazing strides they have made in decreasing the amount of food waste.

Questions For The Site Visit:  Finally, acting as members of consulting teams that might choose to write a group paper about the commercial opportunities and challenges connected to FoodCloud, what specific questions do you have about the business model for FoodCloud that relate to our course material (Triple Bottom Line and sustainability, market segmentation, maximization versus shared value, etc.)?  Give us a specific question for tomorrow’s visit.

What exactly do the donated funds go toward? Would you ever consider expanding your effort to other areas of sustainability besides decreasing food waste? Would you consider FoodCloud a business or charity organization? If you consider yourself a business, how do you make a profit after donating the excess food and what does your business model look like?