2 stories that will instantly impact produce waste prevention in summer 2016 and beyond
With nearly a quarter of 2016 completed, two recent food and food technology stories will have major impacts this summer, and beyond.
1. U.S. based food retailer Whole Foods has announced they will soon be selling less attractive produce. The large chain, in a recent agreement with growing "ugly produce" company Imperfect Produce, will begin selling produce as soon as April. Imperfect Produce, previously partnered with west coast food retailer Raley’s to sell their product lines on a regional scale.
“This was the first time ugly produce was introduced mainstream to U.S. consumers in a major grocery store chain and the goal of the pilot was to learn as much as possible. One crucial finding was that there was an incremental increase in sales.”
The collaboration between Whole Foods and Imperfect Produce sheds light onto the market’s bias towards aesthetically pleasing fruits and vegetables. If other large retailers join the movement in addition to whole foods, major progress toward food efficiency and security will be made.
The ugly fruits and vegetables movement has gone mainstream, with large corporations such as Whole Foods joining in.
France and Italy are leading the way in Europe in the fight to prevent supermarket waste. In France, the government estimates that each citizen throws out over 50 pounds of produce per person per year.
2. Italy will join France invoking laws that will require supermarkets to donate their unsold food to charities.
Unlike France, which fines supermarkets found wasting
food, Italy will give businesses a reduction in taxes for donating food.
The bill will also allow businesses to donate food after its “best before”
date, a provision that policy makers hope will set precedent for other future legislation world-wide.
But politicians are not stopping there. French politician Arash Derambarsh is pushing to pass EU-wide legislation forcing supermarkets to give away food designated for waste.
Arash states, “The problem is simple – we have food going to waste and poor people who are going hungry.”
Other countries are starting to follow the path of France and Italy. Denmark has launched its first food waste supermarket designed to sell unsold food donated by businesses at a low price, and in the United Kingdom, supermarket giant Tesco has agreed to donate all unsold food from stores to charities.
The pilot program, called Community Food Connection, will soon begin in 15 cities across the UK.
French food waste legislation was passed in February, while legislation in Italy is expected to be completed by late 2016.
French politician Arash Derambarsh is at the forefront of the prevention of supermarket food waste in Europe.
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