A number of retailers throughout Europe have begun selling substandard produce at a discounted price in an effort to curb food waste.
French retail chain Intermarche was among the first; German Penny Market and British Tesco followed suit, offering customers the chance to take home slightly imperfect fruits and vegetables that would otherwise be discarded.
Here in the Czech Republic, Penny Market will be the first supermarket to sell curved cucumbers, heart-shaped potatoes, and other unusual looking items.
The retailer has included in its most recent circular a section of neobyčejné kousky (unusual pieces). Prices are 10-25 percent cheaper than the so-called normal produce.
Sales of these items will begin at Penny Market stores today.
“The main goal is to reduce food waste and help Czech farmers with cultivars that do not currently meet aesthetic criteria,” says Zlata Ulrichová, Chief Marketing Officer Penny Market.
The Zachraň jídlo (Save the Meal) initiative has begun an on-line petition that would encourage additional stores to give unsightly cauliflower and onions a second chance at soup or sauce glory.
In materials for its Jsem připraven (I am Ready) campaign, the group states that Czech farmers are forced to compost 20-30% of their potato harvest and around 30% of the carrot crop for not meeting supermarket standards of what is visually appealing to customers.