Five Food Businesses With A Conscience - The Gloss Magazine

Five Food Businesses With A Conscience

These five food businesses are not just talking the talk, but walking the walk when it comes to sustainability and putting the planet first …

The Killarney Urban Farm Tour and Taste Experience

Giving the sometimes overused word ‘pivot’ a whole new meaning, Ireland’s first hospitality hydroponic urban farm in Killarney is located in what used to be a late night bar in the centre of the town. The Killarney Urban Farm was established to grow and service bars, restaurants, and hotels in the town giving the phrase ‘locally grown’ new depth. The Killarney Urban Farm Tour and Taste experience is a joint venture between The Tan Yard Restaurant and Killarney Urban Farm which includes a guided tour of the indoor farm, where you will learn all about the technology that drives this clever project over canapés and local cocktails, before being escorted to The Tan Yard for an exclusive three-course meal which utilises all the delicious produce grown in the hydroponic towers. There is also an opportunity for those on the tour to meet with the chef and learn more about the process and how it has opened up a wealth of options when it comes to designing menus. 


Set up by sustainably-focused sibling entrepreneurs, Niamh and Ruairi Dooley, BiaSol is focused on creating innovative foods that maximise nutrition while minimising waste. Their first product launched was the zero waste Super Milled Grains using the usually discarded by-products from craft brewing. It’s a truly versatile product and can be used in everything from soups, sauces and baking, to a bowl of porridge or your morning smoothie with the ten per cent of your recommended daily fibre intake being a bonus. It also enhances recipes with a malty and nutty flavour, and rich brown colour and I can attest to the fact that it works wonderfully well in brown bread or indeed the much maligned (after a lockdown surge in popularity) banana bread. The product took 18 months to develop, with support from Enterprise Ireland and as a result, BiaSol has recently become certified as Ireland’s first official member of the Upcycled Food Association. 

Thanks Plants

Founded in 2020 by Dubliner Aisling Cullen, Thanks Plants set out to create products made from plant-based wholefood ingredients that also taste good. After a stint in Malaysia where Aisling ran her own coffee house, she moved back to Dublin in 2017 to continue her food journey here. Frustrated with the lack of meat substitute products available in Ireland, Thanks Plants was born. The range includes a selection of sausages and frankfurters along with the everyday roast and the latest addition to the family, the spring roast – perfect for Easter entertaining. Incidentally, ten per cent of the profits from the Thanks Plants Spring Roast will go to the Heartstone Veganic Sanctuary in Sligo. 

Camile Thai

Camile Thai recently launched a new sustainability initiative, the first of its kind in Europe. With the addition of carbon emission ratings to their menus, Camile Thai hopes to help its guests to reduce their carbon footprint by having all the information to make more informed choices when ordering. The ratings system works by taking into account water consumption, storage and transport and food labels and will have an A-E rating scale based on the carbon intensity with ‘A’ signalling low impact and ‘E’ equalling extremely high. Ratings are due to be added over the coming months at all Camile locations in Ireland and the UK. 

Too Good To Go

The world’s largest marketplace for surplus food, Too Good To Go launched in Ireland late last year and appears to be going from strength to strength. The concept enables us, the public ,along with local businesses to fight food waste by affording users the opportunity to buy ‘surprise bags’ of surplus food via the dedicated app every evening. Prices are generally around one third of the RRP and businesses involved include Tang, KC Peaches, Camerino Bakery, Meltdown, Toonsbridge and The Butler’s Pantry. It’s a clever concept that offers both value to the customer and helps us all play our part in reducing the estimated €300 million worth of food waste in Ireland alone. With just under 118,000 app users in Ireland, the initiative has so far saved over 50,000 surprise bags of food from going to waste. 


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