General Industry

New Initiative To Tackle Food Waste In Tourism Sector

By Robert McHugh
New Initiative To Tackle Food Waste In Tourism Sector

Visit Cork, in collaboration with Cork County Council and Cork City Council, has announced the launch of the ‘Waste Not, Want Not’ conference.

The conference is a collective effort to address and mitigate the impact of food waste within the tourism sector.

Green Hubs Fund

The conference is supported by funding from the Regional Waste Management Planning Offices’ Green Hubs Fund.

It aims to bring together stakeholders from the tourism and hospitality industry to share insights, expertise, and practical solutions for managing and reducing waste.

Food Waste

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that Ireland generated 753,000 tonnes of food waste in 2021, with restaurants and the foodservice sector generating approximately 189,000 tonnes (25%) thereof.


Furthermore, the Reducing Commercial Food Waste in Ireland report – published in 2019 – found that over 66% of food waste from the foodservice sector is avoidable.

It found that hotels have the highest level of food waste, and the annual cost of food waste to the sector is estimated to be in excess of €300 million.

‘More Sustainable Future’

“This conference will not only focus on how to save money by reducing waste, but it will also be an opportunity for businesses in Cork’s vibrant tourism sector to speak to local support agencies and experts about their broader sustainability plans and ambitions, so they can better understand how they can play their part in supporting the circular economy and a more sustainable future,” said Cllr Frank O’Flynn, mayor of the county of Cork.

Fota Wildlife Park

The conference will take place on Wednesday 31 January at the newly established Education, Conservation and Research Centre in Fota Wildlife Park.

The half-day event will feature a comprehensive review of Visit Cork’s plans and aspirations for the sector in 2024.

‘The Right Thing To Do’

“It is so important for the sector to realise that managing food waste is not only the right thing to do, but should also result in a cost saving,” said Seamus Heaney, head of Visit Cork.