Newry company Food Safe System, a technology company that simplifies and automates the food compliance procedures for hospitality and food service businesses, has been awarded £5,000 as part of Live Here Love Here’s Climate Challenge Fund, where schools, local councils, community and youth groups and businesses across Northern Ireland benefitted from grants to help put their climate knowledge into action.
Funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund, the scheme made £200,000 available for projects that introduced climate action into local communities. The grant money allocated will help reduce carbon emissions through innovative initiatives and maximise opportunities for community participation in local climate conversations and projects right across Northern Ireland.
Food Safe System Manager Neil Bradley says, “We plan to use the money to roll out our F*Waste smart scales food waste prevention platform, into hospitality businesses in the Newry area, to enable them to reduce their food waste.
“The F*Waste smart scales are connected to the internet as part of the IoT (Internet of Things). The scales sit under food waste bins in professional kitchens and measures their food waste in real time. It then uses that information to help them reduce and prevent food waste therefore minimising their environmental impact and reducing the business’s cost.”
In a first for Ireland and the UK there are no other IoT connected scales like this in the world at the moment.
The scales sit under the kitchens bin. It’s completely wireless and can be located anywhere. Staff don’t have to do anything differently and information is collected automatically. The scales are tracking in real time and that data is used to identify patterns of food waste.
Bradley explains “Perhaps when they buy a particular type of food they waste more, maybe on a particular day there’s more waste happening or when a particular member of staff is working there’s more food waste, so maybe they need to train that staff member. They might find when the weather is bad they have more food waste, so they can plan for that.
“We can also then by using information on sales and purchases identify why those patterns are happening and then use that data to help the restaurants prevent that food waste happening. Ultimately, we are aiming to tackle carbon emissions and improve the quality of our area.”
At present the scales are undergoing commercial testing in restaurants in Belfast, and with the Live Here Love Here funding, Food Safe System are now able to purchase and install scales into restaurants in Newry. The future looks bright for F*Waste with significant interest at present from UK, Ireland and US businesses.
The Climate Challenge Fund, which received applications in March and April, was open to any organisation in Northern Ireland interested in tackling the climate emergency. Funded projects were required to demonstrate innovative, creative or functional approaches to climate action, with successful applicants receiving in the region of £1,000 to £5,000 to meet the scale of the challenge.
Bradley adds: “I have always been passionate about finding ways to help the hospitality industry reduce its carbon footprint and by doing so helping to increase their profits. I’m thrilled that the Live Here Love Here funding has given us a fantastic opportunity to introduce this unique technology to our home city of Newry. Our F*Waste smart scales will enable selected local businesses to reduce their food waste and ultimately reduce their impact on our local environment.”
Jemma Davies, Climate Clever Communities Programme Coordinator comments: “We are very pleased to support 42 different projects through Live Here Love Here’s Climate Challenge Fund. People from a variety of sectors have come forward to access the capital they need to transform their carbon-cutting ideas into practice. In the end, we were hugely oversubscribed with applications and worked hard to stretch our budget across as many exciting proposals as we could. We encourage as many groups as possible to reach out to us if they want to ‘Live Here Love Here’.”
For further information on the Climate Challenge Fund, visit www.liveherelovehere.org.
To contact Food Safe System/ F*Waste call Neil on ——- or email ——