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Food donation service

TAAP, a supplier of mobile software applications for tablets and smartphones, has developed a Food Surplus Application to assist with the donation of surplus food in the retail sector to charities[4]. It is currently being deployed by Tesco in its UK stores and integrates with systems from Tesco partners – FoodCloud and FareShare.

The Food Donation Service is a plug-and-play solution that integrates with a retailer’s stock, price and waste services to digitally track and trace what is being donated. Retailers check stock levels and notify charities of the types of products that will be available using the FoodCloud app and, if accepted, charities/logistics partners collect the chosen products. On collection, the products with short shelf lives are barcode scanned using the Food Donation Service app, which then creates a virtual ‘shopping basket’ for charities to accept.

The app records a complete audit trail of which items have been donated and to whom including weight, quantity, price etc. This data is passed back to FoodCloud, and Tesco can mark the product as ‘waste.’ FareShare runs the platform via FoodCloud by setting up the charities and co-ordinating associated activity. The app allows retailers to monitor the number of meals donated to help them achieve targets for food waste minimisation and to comply with corporate and social responsibility obligations. The system contains a training mode so that new staff can be trained on a test account. Managers receive notifications to advise when donations should have occurred.

TAAP has designed the Food Donation Service app to work with many handheld tablet and phone devices, including older PDAs, which are still popular in the retail environment. The Microsoft Azure cloud platform is recommended for hosting due to its reliability, scalability and flexibility. The system is agile and allows for changes to be made based on the retailer’s operational requirements and rules.

The Food Donation Service is currently live in over 1,300 stores across the UK and ROI and has already saved the equivalent of 5.1m meals from going to waste. Interested retailers should contact TAAP regarding how the system can be used by their organisation to manage food surplus more efficiently.



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