Ugly Fruit Movement Could Help Organic Farmers
Did you ever stop to think how amazing it is that all the fruit in your grocery store is perfect? The hidden story behind that perfect fruit is the large volume of second grade fruits and vegetables diverted directly to juice makers, with little profit to the farmers, and the plant products industry which farmers must rely on to grow acceptable produce. Now there is a force for change: Sir Stuart Hampson, current president of the Royal Agricultural Society of England is also the chairman of the John Lewis partnership, owner of the upmarket UK grocery chain Waitrose. Starting on 20 June 2006, Waitrose will start exposing customers to "ugly" fruits and vegetables: produce which is perfectly healthy and tasty, but which has blemishes which would formerly have doomed it to diversion into low-value uses. The produce will be advertised for use in cooking and preserves, but the chain expects that some customers will enjoy these fruits and vegetables simply for eating as well. By breaking the prejudice for "beautiful" fruit, will this help the organic industry convince consumers that although nature is not always perfect, the produce of nature is naturally good? And will farmers everywhere find profit in reducing their reliance on chemical products--even if not entirely to organic standards? Ask your local grocer today: when will we get ugly fruit?