Buying “ugly” produce isn’t just about reducing food waste, it’s also about supporting the hard-working farmers who are feeding our country. For them, the fact that retail grocery stores refuse to buy a sizeable chunk of their harvest each year isn’t just an environmental injustice, it’s making the already difficult job of farming even harder. That’s why we’re proud to partner with growers across the country to help them sell everything they grow. In this spirit, we’re excited to announce that we’ll be offering all of our customers some very special blueberries from our friends at Homegrown Organic Farms.
How can berries be ugly? We had the same question and our friends at Homegrown shared that supermarkets are demanding larger and larger berries, and increasingly won’t buy undersized berries at all. As this trend has intensified, growers have had to overplant to meet their quotas for large berries, leaving Homegrown with few options for their smaller fruit.
When we asked why they don’t just sell their small berries to become jam or juice, they surprised us by sharing that selling berries to a processor only returns about 30% of the price they can get in the fresh market, meaning that they lose money any time they send their berries to be processed.They also shared that as growers have had to overplant to fulfill the demand for the larger berries, the overall market has become so flooded with berries that frozen berry companies won’t buy their small berries either. It’s a truly mind-boggling situation that we’re working together with Homegrown to correct.
We’re also thrilled that this partnership will benefit Big Green, an organization that gives low-income schools across the United States access to learning gardens to support the next generation of chefs, growers, farmers, and eaters. Big Green’s learning gardens are increasing students’ academic engagement and achievement, teaching them how to use and love fresh fruits and vegetables, and building meaningful relationships in communities across America.
Keep an eye out for these berries the next time you customize your Imperfect box. Let’s send a message that small berries are just as delicious as big ones. Thanks for helping us stick up for the undersized fruit of the world!