Meet Fruta Feia or “Ugly Fruit”. Started by Isabel Soares in Lisbon, Spain, Ugly Fruit is a cooperative that collects produce which fall short of the European Union high-standard of marketable food. The cooperative buys the unwanted produce directly from the farmers, albeit at a lower price than the supermarkets they supply, and then brings it to the distribution centers. Once at the centers, members who pay an annual fee and then a flat rate for their weekly “food crate” that volunteers pre- fill with their “ugly food” harvest.
Though farmers are selling their produce to Ugly fruit at a reduced cost, many are happy that perfectly good food that doesn’t meet the EU or supermarket ideal is not going to waste. Consumers are glad to have produce at an affordable cost. It’s a win-win and exactly what Ugly Fruit’s founder hoped to accomplish, particularly the stemming of food waste.