Spreading ugLy Fruit Against food Waste (FLAW4LIFE)
Start date: 14 Sep 2015, End date: 13 Sep 2018 PROJECT  ONGOING 

Background In Portugal, a million tonnes of food are wasted every year, amounting to 17% of the total food production. The reasons are numerous and occur along all the food supply chain: intensive production models, inadequate storage and transportation, expiration dates that are too tight and sale discounts that encourage consumers to buy unreasonably. Another reason is the preference for fruit and vegetables that are ‘perfect’ in terms of shape, colour and size, which ultimately restricts food consumption. This food waste has also environmental implications, since it involves the unnecessary use of resources in their production (soil, energy and water). Objectives The FLAW4LIFE project aims to change food consumption habits and create an alternative market for ‘ugly’ (or less than perfect-looking) fruit and vegetables. It aims to bring about the equal marketing of all quality fruit and vegetables regardless of their size, colour and shape. The project will achieve this goal by replicating nationally an innovative methodology (called Fruta Feia or Ugly Fruit), which has already been tested in Lisbon. Fruta Feia's methodology consists of buying weekly from local producers the small, big or misshaped products that they cannot sell in the regular market and the selling these products to Fruta Feia’s associated consumers, who pick them up at the end of the day at fixed delivery points. The project will increase the number of delivery points in Portugal to 10, thus avoiding 460 tonnes of waste annually. During the first phase of the project implementation, the pilot project will be optimised and a business plan drawn up. Based on the results and lesson learned in the pilot project, eight new delivery points will be set up. With the support of local authorities and target groups, a nationwide network of farmers, local coordinators and consumers will be established. Furthermore, the FLAW4LIFE project will established the resources required to foster an international network of associations and other entities involved in food waste management. It will provide support to associations, transferring the know-how and the comprehensive results in Portugal. A best practices handbook will be published. Expected results: A reduction of food wastage: 10 tonnes/week and 460 tonnes/year; An increase in efficiency of farms due to better use of production resources (energy, water and soil): evaluation of energy use and water saving of around 181 000 m3 per year; A reduction of GHG emissions from food decomposition: 878.65 tonne CO2 eq. avoided/year; An increase in the number of delivery points, revitalizing local associations: 10 delivery points throughout the country; An increase in the involved farmers' productivity: 320 farmers accounting for around €161 000 per year; An increase of consumers of quality fruit and vegetables at a reduced price: 2 000 ugly fruit consumers involved; An increase of local coordinators, creating eight new jobs throughout the country; An increase in number of volunteers, capitalising on the feeling of belonging to the project: 160 volunteers involved per year; and Awareness of locals including school children of food wastage and consumption patterns.
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