Problem encountered and objective
The Fruta Feia initiative arises from the need to reverse the trends of standardisation of fruit and vegetables that have nothing to do with food safety and quality issues. This initiative aims to combat market inefficiency by creating an alternative market for “ugly” fruit and vegetables that can change consumption patterns.
Main results / outcomes
By selling products that are rejected by the regular distribution channels due to an unwanted shape and/or size, regardless of being grown in an organic, integrated or conventional production, and only working with local farmers, Fruta Feia encourages the consumer’s education not only on the matter of food waste, but also on the valorisation of the local production. It also ensures a fair price to farmers, while also managing to reach consumers with a much lower price than retailers (e.g. supermarkets).
Fruta Feia is a financially self sustainable initiative, which means, the income derived from the selling the boxes to the consumers is enough to cover the costs of carrying out the service and continuing to buy more products from the farmers, which otherwise wouldn’t receive any money. Every week they work directly with the producers in the region, passing by their gardens and orchards to buy the small, large or misshapen fruits and vegetables that they cannot sell. With these products, they prepare baskets of two different sizes to sell to consumers associated with the Initiative at delivery points around the country. Consumers pay an annual fee of 5€ when they collect their first basket of Fruta Feia, in addition to the cost of the basket.