Almost 33,000 tonnes of vegetables are currently wasted annually in Danish agriculture, according to the Nordic Council of Ministers report Food Losses and Waste in Primary Production – Data Collection in the Nordic Countries.
A new initiative involving a major supermarket chain and two producers aims to combat that wastage, it was announced last week.
Danish NGO Stop Wasting Food (Stop Spild Af Med) has established the agreement with the Rema 1000 supermarket chain and producers Alfred Pedersen & Søn ApS and Gartneriet Østervang Sjælland, the organisation announced via a press statement.
That means that, from this week, selected Rema 1000 stores will sell irregularly shaped vegetables that would otherwise not have reached shelves due to their imperfect appearance.
The irregular greens will be on sale at reduced prices, with 25 øre (3 euro cents) per vegetable sold going to Stop Wasting Food under the agreement with Rema 1000 and the two producers.
“Collaboration throughout the value chain, in which producers, retailers and customers share responsibility and place focus on reducing food waste, gives the greatest results. When all links in the value chain choose to prioritise reducing food waste, we can achieve the best results. That’s why I’m happy to be part of this partnership,” Rema 1000’s director of purchasing and marketing Anders R. Jensen said in a press statement.
Claus Duedal Jakobsen, head of sales with Alfred Pedersen & Søn ApS, echoed those sentiments.
“We want to do our bit to show that our fresh and tasty vegetables in various shapes and appearances taste just as good as the beautiful ones,” Jakobsen said.
“We hope that Danish consumers will welcome this initiative and buy these vegetables to help reduce food waste,” he added.
Stop Wasting Food’s founder Selina Juul also praised the scheme.
“We have for many years spoken in favour of selling vegetables of this kind in Danish supermarkets. This will help to reduce waste during primary production as well as create growth in the food retail sector. After ten years of debating food waste I am sure that Danish consumers are ready to welcome irregularly shaped vegetables on to supermarket shelves,” Juul said.
“The fact that this initiative also supports the Stop Wasting Food organisation makes us feel extra grateful,” she added.
The irregular vegetables will be available in selected Rema 1000 stores throughout the summer.