Funder: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through the Green Enterprise Programme

Duration of Project: 13th Feb 2023 – 13th May 2024 (15 Months)

Lead on Project: The Rediscovery Centre

Partners and Collaborators: The Clean Technology Centre, Supervalu Ballymun, Buddy’s Farmer’s Market, Blossom Artisan Bakery, FoodCloud

Status: Open


The FORCE project is a food rescue and research project designed to prevent food waste, funded by the EPA’s Green Enterprise Programme. The FORCE project will provide a roadmap for bringing food surplus into a café menu. By identifying challenges, and providing solutions, the project aims to create guidelines for other cafes to replicate across the country.


Achieving Ireland’s food waste prevention goals represents a significant challenge. The EPA estimates that in 2021, 753,000 tonnes of food was wasted between processing and manufacturing (215,000t), households (221,000t), restaurants (189,000t), primary production (53,000t) and retail/distribution (75,000t). In order to reach national and European food waste reduction targets, working examples of business models that manage surplus food are needed. 

This project aims to address primary production and retail / distribution food waste by encouraging the use of surplus food through cafes and hospitality.

Objectives of Project:

This year-long Pilot Project will source surplus food in collaboration with Buddy’s Food Market, Blossom Artisan Bakery, Ballymun SuperValu, and social enterprise Food Cloud, to create a roadmap for other cafés wishing to utilise surplus food, and develop some delicious recipes along the way! It will involve:

  • Evaluating the capacity of a Food Rescue Café to reduce food waste;
  • Developing operational and training guides for Food Rescue Cafés;
  • Evaluating the different supplier options for surplus food &
  • Exploring potential barriers to sourcing and using surplus food in a commercial setting.

The RDC project team will carry out a comprehensive review of best practice relating to the operation of food surplus cafes internationally. Based on the findings and in consultation with project collaborators, a Food Rescue Café operational model will be developed during the first three months of the project. The project will establish a Food Rescue Cafe in the Rediscovery Centre (RDC) – the national centre for the circular economy. 

Next Steps:

The next steps for this project will be to use the data collection protocols developed at the start of the project to gather important information about the functioning of a food waste café. This data will then be analysed, and the insights gained from the analysis will be used to create an operational and training guide which can be used to replicate the project across the country!

If you’d like to work with us or learn more about the project, please contact us. 

Partners: Supervalu Ballymun, Buddy’s Farmer’s Market, Clean Technology Centre (CTC), Foodcloud, Environmental Protection Agency