TAAP, in collaboration with the UK’s largest retailer, and its partners FoodCloud and FareShare, has developed and deployed a Food Donation Service application that enables retailers to donate surplus food to charities. The application is a plug-and-play solution that integrates with FoodCloud’s logistics channels which match retailers’ stores to charities.
The Food Donation Service solution integrates with a retailer’s stock, price and waste services to digitally track and trace what is being donated. The solution has been designed in consultation with retailers to ensure it is simple and easy to use.
Retail colleagues check stock levels and notify charities of the types of products which will be available using the FoodCloud app, and if accepted, charities/logistics partners come to collect the chosen products. On collection, the products with short shelf lives are barcode scanned using TAAP’s Food Donation Service application, which then creates a “shopping basket” for charities to accept. The system is agile, which allows for changes to be made based on the retailer’s operational requirements and rules.
One of the challenges many organisations face is around device compatibility when introducing new applications, so TAAP has designed the Food Donation Service application to work with many handheld tablet and phone devices, including older PDAs which are still popular in the retail environment.
The solution is integrated with FoodCloud and FareShare services, which manage interactions with charities who have accepted donations and can distribute donated food. The solution supplies the retailer and FoodCloud with data containing details on quantities and types of products, which equate to the number of meals retailers have provided to charities. Retailers can therefore monitor the number of meals donated and achieve targets to minimise food waste and comply with corporate and social responsibility obligations.
TAAP CEO, Steve Higgon, commented: “We are delighted to have delivered a very successful roll-out of the TAAP Food Donation Service in conjunction with the UK’s largest retailer and its partners FoodCloud and FareShare and are now looking to deliver more socially responsible projects with other retailers by adapting the service for their particular operating methods and distribution models. Thanks to a great team effort from all parties involved, it now means the TAAP solution can be up and running to deliver a pilot in weeks.”
TAAP recommends hosting the Food Donation Service application on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform due to its reliability, scalability and flexibility.The Food Donation Service solution uses Microsoft Azure Web Sites, Azure SQL Database, Azure Service Bus and Power BI.
Mark Smith, Senior Director, Cloud & Enterprise Business Group, Microsoft UK, commented: “It’s fantastic to see ISV partners such as TAAP innovate to provide socially responsible services to one of the most important industries in the UK and globally. Through the use of Azure, TAAP can drive greater business efficiencies through the use of real-time data analysis, ensuring the Food Donation Service is able to carry out its invaluable work as effectively as possible.”
The Food Donation Service is currently live in over 1,300 stores across the UK and ROI and has already managed to save the equivalent of 5.1m meals going to waste. The UK’s largest retailer plans to roll out to 2,800 stores by the end of 2017.
Thanks to the great work from the UK’s largest retailer, TAAP has now started engaging with multiple retailers on a global basis to plan how their food donation services could be provided by TAAP. TAAP’S goal is to partner with retailers, charities and their partners to make it easier to donate surplus products to the needy and less fortunate members of society,