It’s difficult to say how much imperfect fruit and vegetables fails to make it to supermarket shelves. In Denmark alone, it is estimated that 33,000 tonnes of vegetables are wasted annually, partly due to growth imperfection.
But now the supermarket giant Rema 1000 is looking to do something about it, in co-operation with the food waste organisation Stop Spild af Mad.
Over the summer consumers in Rema 1000 will be able to purchase ‘ugly’ vegetables that would usually be discarded at a cheaper price.
“Imperfect and crooked vegetables taste just as good as the nice-looking ones and we have long campaigned for these kinds of vegetables to be sold in Danish supermarkets,” said Selina Juul, the head of Stop Spild af Mad.
“It will help reduce waste during primary production and generate growth for the food sector.”
Following the French?
For every imperfect vegetable sold, Rema 1000 will donate 12.5 øre to Stop Spild af Mad, as will the vegetable producers behind the project: Alfred Pedersen & Søn and Gartneriet Østervang Sjælland.
Initially Rema 1000 will sell imperfect cucumbers, tomatoes and bell peppers in some of the chain’s 308 stores in Denmark, at a price that will be about 15 percent lower than what a typical vegetable with no imperfections would cost.
“It’s been accepted wisdom that people don’t want them, but we think this line of thought is archaic. The French supermarket chain Intermarché has had great success in recent years selling fruit and vegetables that otherwise would have been discarded,” Juul told Politiken newspaper.