Have you ever gone into the supermarket to buy fruits or vegetables and sorted out the produce until you found the “perfect” specimen, only to discard the ugly and deformed fruit? Well you’re not alone many of us do it and it accounts for up to 40% of food wastage(Wang, L. 2013). But half the time we don’t even get the choice, Supermarkets have an aesthetics test, and if it does not meet the “norm” of look and colour regardless of edibility, it gets thrown away.
We just dump tonnes and tonnes of fruit. If it didn’t have to look perfect, more would go into the boxes.
Donna Duncan, Citrus grower (Wilson, C. 2014)
Its not only the fruit and vegetables that go to waste in this process, it’s also the water, labour, chemicals and soil fertility also get wasted in the process of discarding “ugly” fruit which sounds ridiculous when you put it that way, but somewhere along the line we developed a culture of having to have the perfect fruit and vegetables in our supermarkets and as a result it is now a major problem.(Wilson, C. 2014)
One of the largest supermarkets in France Intermarche has sparked a trend around the world and even in their large supermarkets with its campaign, campaign called the inglorious fruits and vegetables, which means they have stopped discarding “ugly fruit” and sell it at a 30% cheaper price. This concept is in no way revolutionary, but the way its sold that’s genius.
The inglorious fruits and vegetable campaign turns the fruit into fun and playful posters Such as the Grotesque apple, the ridiculous potato, the hideous orange and the failed lemon, which are bright colourful and playful, drawing peoples attention to the problem. (FillipoCosintino, 2014)
Not only did they just sell the fruit, the Supermarket also engaged with customers by making fruit juices and soups, to show customers that they were just as good as the others. The campaign was a huge success with 1.2 tons of average sale per store in the first two days, with 24% traffic increase within the store.(FillipoCosintino, 2014)
This waste initiative has cause a bit of criticism and questions around the topic, such as “ whether selling it for cheaper is giving the wrong connotations?” or “ would the other fruit then become old and unusable because it wasn’t getting used?, but the CEO of Oz harvest, Ronni Kahn who experiences food waste and actively engages in reducing it every day says”its a step in the right direction”. (Wilson, C. 2014)
Because of this campaign, and how successful it was, it has started a trend of supermarkets around the world doing it, in Australia Harris farm Markets and now woolworths(Woolworths,2015), with their Odd Bunch Campaign they have been started to try and combat the food waste crisis. Although these companies are taking a different approach to the idea, all draw attention to the food waste in this world, and help growers sell more stock.
FillipoCosintino, 2014,Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables, Viewed 25th April 2015, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQQMygivn0g>
Smoke Free Kids 2015, Industry Watch Industry Profiles Policy Interference Marketing FCTC Article 5.3 Case Studies More Resources Case Studies Indonesia: Tobacco Control Advocates Expose Corruption after Tobacco Clause Found Missing from the National Health Bill viewed April, 22nd 2015, <http://global.tobaccofreekids.org/en/industry_watch/case_studies/indonesia_tobacco_control_advocates>.
Wilson, C. 2014, Campaign for ugly fruits aims to end food waste, ABC, viewed April, 24th 2015, <http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/bushtelegraph/irregular-food/5595302>.
Wang, L. 2013, “UK Report Finds Up To 40% of All Fruit and Vegetables Are Wasted Because of “Ugliness”, Viewed 20th April 2015, <http://inhabitat.com/uk-report-finds-up-to-40-of-all-fruit-and-vegetables-are-wasted-because-of-ugliness/>
Woolworths,2015. “the-odd-bunch”, viewed 22nd April 2015,<https://www2.woolworthsonline.com.au/shop/page/the-odd-bunch>