- Robert MarianoMariano's CEO and Roundy's Chairman
Stop contributing to massive food waste in the US
There are 1,833,810 people in Illinois who are food insecure - that's 1 in 7 people. For children, that number is 1 in 5. Part of the problem is the high cost of produce, making it difficult for low-income families to afford high quality fruits and vegetables. Meanwhile, we throw away nearly 26% of all produce before it even reaches the grocery store due mostly to cosmetic standards from large grocers that dictate exactly how fruits and veggies should look. If produce fails to make the grade for size, shape, or color, retailers deem it "ugly" and refuse to sell it in their stores. Billions of pounds of good, healthy produce goes uneaten because it’s not pretty!
Throwing away perfectly edible food because of arbitrary cosmetic standards makes no sense, especially when so many people in the U.S. go hungry each day. In addition to being a waste of nutritious food, dumping literal tons of unspoiled food is filling landfills, contributing to climate change through the production of greenhouse gases during decomposition, and wasting resources used to grow water-intensive fruits and vegetables.
I'm Bethany Olson and I think there is a simple solution that can help alleviate these problems. I am calling on Mariano's to help stop massive food waste by agreeing to sell cosmetically “less than perfect” produce.
We want Mariano's to combat food waste by marketing ugly produce as they do traditional produce using a fun campaign, like the French supermarket giant Intermarche did with its “Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables Campaign.” In the U.S., Associated Foods store are trying out their "Misfits" produce program and Raley's has also started a pilot selling ugly produce. Stores across Europe, Australia, and Canada that have started selling "less than perfect" produce, offering it at an average of 30% off, have seen increased store traffic and total sales. Mariano's has an opportunity to be an early influence, being in the good company of those aforementioned and can take a national leadership role in this movement.
Join the ugly fruit and vegetable revolution. Ask Mariano's to be part of the solution, not the problem. Tell them to add the “uglies” to their store aisles so you can save money, fight hunger and help the environment all in one. Remember, when it comes to fruits and vegetables, true beauty is on the inside.
- Mariano's CEO and Roundy's Chairman
Please start selling "ugly" produce in the Chicagoland area.
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