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More than 370 tons of “ugly” vegetables rescued with new collaboration

More than 370 tons of “ugly” vegetables have been rescued over the last two years in Denmark. A survey shows that more than half of the Danes would prefer to buy food products that contribute to reducing food waste.

Too big or too small tomatoes, crooked cucumbers and ketchup made from surplus tomatoes. All 2nd class foods that have excellent 1st class taste. Instead of being thrown out as food waste, they are now sold in various Danish shops. And the initiative is quite popular among Danes.

Behind the initiative is Denmark’s leading organisation against food waste Stop Wasting Food and Denmark’s largest tomato producer Alfred Pedersen & Søn ApS in collaboration with other partners.

A warm summer

The idea arose at the end of 2017, and in the summer of 2018, the concept accelerated in speed. Due to an unusually warm summer, there was a large overproduction of tomatoes. Since then, several Danish supermarkets have sold surplus tomatoes, crooked cucumbers and other “ugly” vegetables.

The products are sold at a reduced price and for each unit sold, there is a donation to support Stop Wasting Food’s work. The Danes have rescued more than 370 tons of “ugly” vegetables since then and keep showing a great interest in rescuing more.

Sales Manager at Alfred Pedersen & Søn ApS, Claus Duedal Jakobsen, looks forward to continuing the successful initiative and stresses how they are well on their way to meeting their goals of reducing food waste.

A popular initiative

Among Danish consumers, there is a clear interest in buying these products. A survey from Epinion for Stop Wasting Food shows that 55% prefer to buy food with a label that shows that the product contributes to reduce food waste, rather than buying a similar product without.

“In 2019, we sold 152 tons of food waste products in REMA 1000’s stores, and this shows that our customers are willing to compromise a little on the appearance of the vegetables if they still get the same good taste and at the same time can help ensure less food waste,” says Anders René Jensen, Purchasing and Marketing Director at REMA 1000.

Further, the survey shows, that “ugly” vegetables and similar products are especially popular among women and younger people between the age of 18 and 34.

Read more about Danish initiatives to reduce food loss and waste in the case catalogue here.

Source: Stop Spild af Mad (in Danish)