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Denmark’s largest tomato producer halves food waste in just one year

Denmark’s largest tomato grower Alfred Petersen & Søn have managed to halve their total food loss and waste in only one year. This is because supermarkets has started selling imperfect tomatoes and Danes are becoming more willing to buy them.

In the past, ugly tomatoes often ended up in the waste container at Alfred Pedersen & Søn, as supermarkets would never want to sell crooked, crumbly and deformed vegetables. But over the past two years, the tomato producer has succeeded in saving 370 tonnes of tomatoes from ending up as food waste, by selling them to consumers instead.

“Three years ago, I noticed that there were many fine tomatoes in our waste containers. I was sorry to see that, and I thought that some of it could be sold to supermarkets. It may not have been the nicest tomatoes, but the taste was fine”, says Claus Duedal, sales manager at Alfred Pedersen & Søn and explains that in the past few years, supermarkets have had a greater focus on minimising food waste, so there is now more room for the “ugly vegetables”.

Five to ten percent of each tomato harvest is imperfect or ugly, he explains, and years ago, they were just discarded. After the supermarkets started to sell the ugly vegetables, several companies and horticultures have joined forces with Alfred Pedersen & Søn to send even more ugly vegetables to the supermarket chains selling them at a lower price.

The global fight against food waste

Alfred Pedersen & Søn’s efforts are part of a global trend where more and more people and companies are trying to lower the food loss and waste both at home and at production sites. Food waste is a major climate and environmental problem, representing 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Of the total food waste, fruit and vegetables make up the largest share with 41%. Reducing food loss and waste is therefore not only a necessary step to sustainable development, it is also good business for vegetable supplier Alfred Petersen & Son.

Find more cases from the Danish food cluster on the fight against food waste her.

Source: Verden Bedste Nyheder