Produce was being wasted because of particularity over its appearance, Coop said. © Ali Karimian/Flickr
Contorted carrots and twisted turnips have received a reprieve in Sweden, as one of the country’s largest food retailers has committed to selling “ugly” fruit and vegetables.
A select number of outlets of Coop Sweden will also sell produce that is nearing its expiry date, as part of an initiative launched in collaboration with fruit and vegetable supplier EverFresh. The less attractive produce will be clearly marked and sold at a reduced price, but will fundamentally have the same quality as existing offerings, Coop claimed.
It is hoped that the It’s the Inside That Counts campaign will help to significantly reduce food waste, with between 15% and 30% of fruit and vegetables currently wasted before it reaches supermarket shelves.
Sweden has long held a world-leading reputation for environmental issues and boasts the lowest carbon footprint of the four mainland Scandinavian economies, producing the equivalent of 13.42 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per person.
“Together with the supplier EverFresh we have decided – once and for all – that it is not the outside that counts. This way we can help to reduce wastage and will be the first in the Swedish market with this initiative,” said Coop Sweden’s chief sustainability officer, Louise König.
“What many consumers do not know is that, when you throw an avocado away, then you simultaneously throw away 200 litres of water, which is the amount required to produce avocados. The UN food organisation FAO estimates that it takes about 2,000–5,000 litres of water per day to produce food for one person – then it’s unwise to sort out fruits and vegetables that do not adhere to the standard form.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019