Sydney social enterprise Good & Fugly has delivered a lifeline to farmers whose produce is being rejected by supermarket giants for failing to meet ‘beauty standards’.
The brand has launched a produce ‘rescue’ hotline for farmers for the Good & Fugly team to purchase surplus fruits and vegetables.
The 13-000-FUGLY hotline is a direct response to an increase in the volume of produce wasted due to not meeting retailers’ aesthetic specifications. Crop growers are often left to discard unwanted produce—which is where Good & Fugly can step in.
Paul Milano, a farmer in Swan Hill, Victoria, who partnered with Good & Fugly after retailers rejected hundreds of kilograms of his fruit, said everyone loses when good eating quality fruit and veg goes to waste.
“Last year on our farm alone 50 tonnes had to be thrown away and this kind of thing is being duplicated across Australia,” he said.
“With Good & Fugly’s rescue emergency hotline, I’m able to give them a call during retailers’ oversupply or rejections and promptly work out a win-win solution, depending on the type of produce. Good & Fugly gives our delicious fruit and veg a home it deserves for everyone’s benefit.”
Rejected by supermarkets
Founder Richard Tourino said 25% of fresh fruit and vegetables never leave the farm because they don’t meet supermarket “beauty” standards, meaning farmers lose revenue as well as time, energy and resources.
So Tourino, who previously worked at Go Get, set out to find a way to support farmers across Australia.
“Especially during these times with the supply chain shortages and floods. We’re about changing supermarkets’ beauty standards so that consumers will ultimately have access to all fruit and veg,” he said.
“What we do is better for the consumer, better for the growers and better for the planet. It’s an economically and environmentally sustainable social enterprise that Aussie farmers can get ahead with. The feedback from farmers has been really positive. They’re telling us we’re giving them an option that didn’t exist before.”
Good & Fugly offers standalone and subscription boxes of “ugly” fruit and vegetables at affordable costs and free delivery. More at goodandfugly.com.au