'Ugly produce' could be a win-win for farmers and consumers

As Loblaw stores expands its line of ugly produce, food industry experts say exposing shoppers to less-than-perfect fruits and vegetables can add to the bottom line of both consumers and farmers.

See Full Article

An estimated 17 to 19 per cent of food waste occurs at the farm, which, according to Sylvain Charlebois, a professor with the University of Guelph's Food Institute, points to an "upstream problem."

"This initiative… basically provides a window to this problem," Charlebois told CTV's Canada AM on Wednesday.

With the blemished and misshapen fruits and vegetables costing about 30 per cent less than their perfect counterparts, Charlebois said ugly produce can be a solution for consumers struggling with the higher cost of fresh food.

Loblaw announced earlier this month that it was expanding its line of “Naturally Imperfect” fruits and vegetables.

The company launched a trial run of the line in Ontario and Quebec last year, offering ugly apples and potatoes to shoppers. The grocery chain has said more types of ugly produce will soon be available across the country.

Charlebois noted that ugly fruits and vegetables also provides a good lesson to consumers.

"Mother Nature is not perfect," he said. "Over the next few years, people will feel more comfortable and become more educated about what agriculture is all about."

Stuart McCall of McGrows Farms and Garden in Sudbury, Ont. said the proliferation of imperfect produce could give farmers another revenue stream, as a lot of ugly fruits and vegetables are turned into compost at farms.

He added that expanding the use of imperfect produce will make fresh food more accessible to more Canadians.

"In terms of affordability, I think it's a great idea," McCall said.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Angry French famer block Champs-Elysees in pesticide protest

    Economic CTV News
    PARIS -- Angry French farmers are blocking Paris' famed Champs-Elysees in a protest against the government's agricultural policy. Sections of the normally pristine avenue were smothered in straw as about a hundred demonstrators brandished placards such as "Macron is killing farmers" and stopped morning traffic from passing Friday along the busy artery. Source
  • Angry French farmers block Champs-Elysees in pesticide protest

    Economic CTV News
    PARIS -- Angry French farmers are blocking Paris' famed Champs-Elysees in a protest against the government's agricultural policy. Sections of the normally pristine avenue were smothered in straw as about a hundred demonstrators brandished placards such as "Macron is killing farmers" and stopped morning traffic from passing Friday along the busy artery. Source
  • Tim Hortons accuses disgruntled franchisees of leaking confidential info, breaching contracts

    Economic CBC News
    A group representing frustrated Tim Hortons franchisees says its board members have been accused by the company of helping leak confidential information. The Great White North Franchisee Association says its board members have been served with notices of default. Source
  • L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt dead at 94

    Economic Toronto Sun
    PARIS — Liliane Bettencourt, the L’Oreal cosmetics heiress and the world’s richest woman, has died at her home in a chic Parisian suburb. She was 94. Bettencourt’s daughter, Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, said in a written statement Thursday that her mother “left peacefully” overnight in Neuilly-sur-Seine. Source
  • Higher prices for gasoline and airfare help push up inflation rate to 1.4% in August

    Economic CBC News
    Canada's inflation rate increased by two ticks to 1.4 per cent in August as transportation costs such as gasoline and airplane tickets got more expensive. Statistics Canada reported that transportation costs rose by 2.8 per cent in the year up to August. Source
  • Canada's annual inflation rate rose to 1.4 per cent in August

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- The country's annual inflation rate continued to accelerate last month with a boost from higher costs for gasoline, hotels and airline tickets. Statistics Canada said Friday inflation hit 1.4 per cent in August -- up from 1.2 per cent in July and a two-year low of just one per cent in June. Source
  • Tim Hortons franchisee association accused of leaking information

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - A group representing frustrated Tim Hortons franchisees says its board members have been accused by the company of helping leak confidential information. The Great White North Franchisee Association says its board members have been served with notices of default. Source
  • Trump commerce secretary says new study proves need for NAFTA changes

    Economic CTV News
    With the next round of NAFTA negotiations set to begin in Ottawa, U.S. President Donald Trump's commerce secretary says a new study proves the need for tougher rules on auto-parts imports in the continental trade agreement. Source
  • Uber to lose its licence to operate in London

    Economic CTV News
    London's transport authority said Friday it won't renew Uber's license to operate in the British capital, arguing that it demonstrates a lack of corporate responsibility with implications in public safety and security. Transport for London says the car-hailing app was not “fit and proper to hold a private hire operator license. Source
  • Mastermind Toys expanding even as Toys 'R' Us flounders

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Jon Levy's favourite playthings as a Toronto child growing up in the 1960s and 1970s included Lego blocks and fort-building kits -- classics that still fly off the shelves of his Mastermind Toy stores today. Source