Coles is cutting down on food waste by selling “unattractive” fruit and vegetables under a new banner, ‘I’m Perfect’.
The supermarket calls the produce “flawed but adored”.
Coles General Manager of Produce Brad Gorman says it’s one way Coles is working with suppliers to reduce food waste.
“Our customers know that, regardless of shape, size or any small cosmetic blemishes, Coles produce is fresh and bursting with flavour,” he said.
“So we thought we’d celebrate the fact that great-tasting fruit and veggies come in all shapes and sizes.
“The range will introduce our customers to millions of pieces of fruit and veg they might otherwise never have met.”
A win-win-win situation
Coles is trialling its range in Victoria and SA. It says suppliers, such as Adelaide Hills apple grower Tony Ceravolo, have responded well.
“All our fruit is grown outdoors and exposed to the elements,” Mr Ceravolo said. “While we do our best to minimise weather impacts, inevitably Mother Nature sometimes proves too strong for us.”
Mr Ceravolo went on to thank Coles for “encouraging people to buy our apples that are a little flawed on the outside, but with the same crunch and taste … It’s win-win-win – a win for customers, a win for us, and a win for reducing food waste”.
As well as reducing waste at the point of production, Coles also has a national partnership with food-waste charity SecondBite.
Through this partnership, Coles supermarkets donated more than 36 million kilograms of unsold edible food between 2011 and November 2018. This quantity equates to 72 million meals, Coles says.
Between 2010 and June 2018, Coles supermarkets also donated the equivalent of more than 17 million meals to Foodbank, another charity that redirects unsold food to those in need.
As for produce it can’t donate, Coles sends some organic waste to anaerobic digestion plants in WA and NSW. There, according to Coles, the plants convert it into “clean energy and certified compost”.
‘I’m Perfect’ range
‘I’m Perfect’ fruit and vegetables are available in Coles stores in Victoria and SA. The range includes:
- Apples (2kg)
- Pears (2kg)
- Oranges (3kg)
- Lemons (1kg)
- Onions (2kg)
- Carrots (2.5kg)
- Sweet potatoes (2kg).