Australian startup seeks to prevent fruits and vegetables from going to waste

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Richard Tourino, founder of Good & Fugly. Source: Viable.Earth/good&fugly

Fruit and vegetable prices in Australia are skyrocketing due to supply chain and climate issues – yet supermarkets continue to reject produce based on appearance alone, says company founder food rescue company Good & Fugly, Richard Torino.

Good & Fugly was launched two years ago as a social enterprise to collect products that would otherwise go to waste, selling them directly to consumers, usually on a subscription basis. Tourino estimates that 25% of crops are wasted on farms because, although perfectly nutritious and fresh, they do not meet the high appearance standards set by retailers.

This month, a crowdfunding campaign was launched through Birchal “to get everyday Australians, who have a real passion for the environment and the problem of food waste in Australia, to get on board”, explains Turino.

“Together we can fundamentally change the way Australians buy and eat their fruit and vegetables.”

The money raised will be used as capital to evolve and finance the national deployment of the company.

“We want to connect with more farmers, save more produce and give more consumers across Australia the opportunity to buy deliciously fudgy fruit and vegetables,” Tourino said.

As of July 18, the campaign has raised over $341,000.

Over the past two years, Good & Fugly has delivered over 200,000 kg of fruit and vegetables and has 2,000 regular consumer subscribers. Now the company plans to cover all of Greater Sydney and, in a new partnership, will donate its surplus produce to OzHarvest, which helps feed vulnerable people in the community. This year, OzHarvest generated over $1 million in sales.

“Everyone loses when good fruit and vegetables go to waste,” said Victorian farmer Paul Milano, who has partnered with Good & Fugly.

“Last year on our farm alone 50 tonnes had to be thrown away and this sort of thing is happening all over Australia. Thanks to Good & Fugly’s rescue hotline I am able to call them on emergency oversupply and quickly find a win-win solution, depending on the type of product.

“Good & Fugly gives our delicious fruits and vegetables the kind of home they deserve,” said Milano.

Another farmer partner, Aidan Quick from Home Stand Produce in the Tweed Valley, adds: “If the food is wasted, you have wasted the water, you have wasted the soil, the land, your time. The nice thing about working with Good & Fugly is that they will take smaller sizes that the market otherwise won’t want.

This article was first published by Viable land.

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