Up to 87% of undamaged, edible tomatoes harvested from a commercial Queensland farm were rejected and wasted based on appearance | Amazing Articles
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Up to 87% of undamaged, edible tomatoes harvested from a commercial Queensland farm were rejected and wasted based on appearance

Up to 87% of undamaged, edible tomatoes harvested from a commercial Queensland farm were rejected and wasted based on appearance

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48 Comments


  1. DrGarrious

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    How bad are we talking here? I’ve often been suspicious of perfect looking fruit.

    I’d much prefer to buy something off a farmer with a few blemishes here and there or maybe it being a funny shape.

    Reply

  2. bestpractice1

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Make sauce, Arsetard Corp’n.

    Reply

  3. 2littleducks

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    So much potential passata ):

    Reply

  4. edubya15

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    new business idea – fruit and vege company based solely off 2nd, 3rd, and 4th rated products – heavily reduced in price. many of the growers donate or throw away such rated products – i say we take them to market and steal away some of the market share!

    Reply

  5. manjarofmydreams

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    I wonder if there are any farmers who could shed some light on this. I have a few questions I’d like to ask…

    Is this an extreme case? If not, why don’t farmers downscale and grow smaller quantities for lower overheads?

    Why don’t farmers who have such a huge rejection rate just sell it all to canners?

    Do farmers get paid for rejected fruit?

    Reply

  6. shirro

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    When I was a kid we had canneries that would take good fruit that perhaps wasn’t table quality in appearance and value add. Then they all disappeared. I don’t know what is wrong with Australia that we can’t do simple shit like turn our own agricultural produce and minerals into useful products anymore.

    Reply

  7. fddfgs

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Can’t crush them and put them in cans? Tomato paste?

    Reply

  8. 10tonterry

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Iv worked on a banana farm in N.QLD and can say that about 70% of any crop will go straight in the bin.

    That’s not even including the produce that is rejected by the buyers once shipped. Even when it goes to sale the consumer will reject fruit based on appearance. So out of an entire crop I would guesstimate that 87% of all fruit harvested is wasted.

    I should mention that the fruit that is binned on the farm is mulched and put back on the land as fertiliser but its still got a large pollution footprint from the process of insecticide and harvesting.

    Reply

  9. gtk

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Yeah, but isn’t this just a case of oversupply? If there is demand for 12 tonnes of tomatoes and they grow 100 tonnes, then why wouldn’t the supermarkets just take the best looking 20% or so?

    Reply

  10. JacksonMalone777

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    The whole “my cucumber is bent therefore uneatable” trend needs to die. This is why I shop exclusive at farmers markets for fresh shit. Cheaper and cool shapes.

    Reply

  11. vadsamoht3

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    For a long time I’ve thought that the government should just set up a program where they take excess produce from farmers (saving them disposal costs) that would otherwise be left to rot (environmental benefit), do whatever to turn it into long-life stuff with a reasonable amount of original nutrition still left (creating jobs) before either selling it ($) or using them as emergency supplies for use during disasters, as humanitarian aid or even simply food for the homeless or needy (creating good will and probably cheaper than existing humanitarian supplies).

    That might not be possible with every crop type, but even if only specific major ones were targeted that allowed for the best results/end-product, it seems like it’d have a decent number of benefits. But muh government overreach, I guess.

    Reply

  12. DefficientDroll

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    I work for an Australian supermarket, and it’s true, at our distribution centres we have teams of people that go through our produce (every single type of produce) and remove any that don’t look good. From what I’ve been told, we take ~20% of the stock that comes in and send it to stores as loose stock. Produce sold as loose stock is always of the highest quality and largest size. Produce that still has a high quality but is smaller is generally used for pre-packed goods, but this still left DCs with a lot of waste. That’s why a lot of companies have started implementing other stock lines in order to use this stock, I’m pretty sure Woolies has one known as ‘odd bunch’ lines, and this uses a lot of the left over.

    Sorry for the wall of text, just thought it might be interesting. Also I don’t make these rules, I just get told them as an employee.

    Reply

  13. artsrc

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    I would like a delivery of non-standard size / shape fruit and vegi’s that would otherwise be wasted.

    I would pay full retail, and take whatever is fresh, in season.

    I would prefer to reduce waste, and that farmers get full price for their crop, without having to go through the retail oligopoly.

    Reply

  14. Krispy_Borscht

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    ‘edible’ doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste terrible

    Reply

  15. Dylando_Calrissian

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Oversupply is the problem, not supermarkets. Even if B/C-grade produce was sold in supermarkets, people can only eat a certain amount of food and won’t buy more produce.

    If there’s consistent oversupply in an industry, the government should look at what it can do to encourage farmers to move to a viable crop.

    Possibly also look at ways to grow the canning/preserving industries so farmers have a decent alternative way to sell – maybe not profitably, but at least enough of an income source to cover the cost of harvesting and transport.

    Reply

  16. in8bits

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    If the 13% of tomatoes that weren’t rejected were enough to satisfy demand, then I guess there’s simply an oversupply of tomatoes (tis the season for it). It’s not like people are going to buy more tomatoes than they need just because there’s a glut and they go for a dollar or two per kilo. At some point it doesn’t matter how cheap less-than-perfect tomatoes are for a supermarket to buy from suppliers, if the cost of transporting, storing, filling, and wasting them exceeds how much they could potentially make then there’s no financial reason to buy them.

    Part of the problem is consumers expecting produce like this year round. There’s no oversupply in the middle of winter, supermarkets will buy and stock less-than-perfect fruit because people will buy them in the off season regardless. But then spring rolls around and all these farms that could barely produce enough to supply consumer demand during winter are starting to go gangbusters, but demand isn’t rising nearly as quickly as their supply is.

    Reply

  17. boringsuburbanite

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Looks like the odd bunch needs some tomatos.

    Reply

  18. zzeg

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Send a couple of truck loads to the Vic Market. They’ll be gone by lunch.

    Reply

  19. gattaaca

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Thought produce like this would be used for canning sauce etc. Chucking it just seems stupidly inefficient

    Reply

  20. Captainbosspirate

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Yet half of the produce on the shelves in my local Coles and Woolies are rotting.

    Reply

  21. momoko84

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Seeing that dump truck with all the tomatoes filled me with disbelief and rage – people could have eaten those. At least find another use for them: sauce, paste, passata, relish, ketchup, natural flavourings and colours for other products, marinades etc. I’m sure there are big food companies and small niche food companies, the type that pride themselves on using only Australian products, that would be happy to take those tomatoes.

    Reply

  22. Cakey_Jakey

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    I love queensland tomatoes

    Reply

  23. torlesse

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Because no one wants to buy them.

    Reply

  24. Ginger_Giant_

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Shame they didn’t send them to OzHarvest, They’re a great charity that collects bulk food items like this and cooks them into meals for the homeless. I’ve cooked for them a few times and they often get insanely large volumes in, largely due to Woolies or Coles rejections. Tomatoes are very versatile so I’m surprised they didn’t go to them.

    Reply

  25. seanjenkins

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Yeah you get that with farms that are trying to appeal to the rich audience. Most farms don’t do this.

    Reply

  26. rigorousintuition

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Every piece of perfect fruit you buy from your local grocer is a god damn lie. Hilariously you could draw comparisons from the glamour mags advertising a stick, perfect figure as the ideal body – fruit and veg are meant to look a bit fucked up and the populace seems to have a distorted view of what real fruit/veg looks like.

    Sometimes the dogey looking ones taste the best – having worked farming veg years ago it hurts when i see my girlfriend dispose of weird shaped food, chasing the perfect form…

    Reply

  27. vic1000

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    “About 4% of Australian farm income could be traced back to government support,”

    And this is portrayed as a problem, that in our country farmers like everyone else buy and sell on the open market without the taxpayer funding them?

    Reply

  28. I_STAB_HIPSTER_FILTH

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    >based on appearance

    Fucking blend them you filthy savage. What, is pasta sauce dependent on prior appearance?

    Reply

  29. Gambizzle

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Surely somebody could buy this up and make a mint mixing sauces…etc?

    Reply

  30. Reed-C-Duang

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Why would tomatoes rejected based on their appearance be processed as sauce, paste, sun-dried, etc.??

    Reply

  31. Fenixius

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    This is some r/latestagecapitalism stuff.

    Reply

  32. LeastUnderstoodHater

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Don’t y’all know about Ketchup or Tomato sauce?

    Reply

  33. Niceguysarebestguys

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    If you can’t sell them how much are they worth?

    Reply

  34. Felinomancy

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Turn it into delicious sauce. Or can it – I don’t think people look too closely at canned tomatoes.

    And then export it for cheap to SEA countries. “Made in Australia” is this decade’s “Made in America”.

    Reply

  35. truthinperosn

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    that’s the australian government for ya, still… atleast it’s not america.. where they gun down there own citizens for being white *cough* false flag vegas *cough*

    Reply

  36. Haydo_88

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    That’s why everyone needs to find an organic market and buy straight from the farmer.

    Reply

  37. Osmodius

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Having worked in a supermarket, the regretable truth is that the majority of people simply won’t buy ugly produce.

    Y’all can crow that you personally don’t mind blemishes, or even prefer it because it makes them seem less manufactured, but the reality is, most people want perfect pretty produce.

    Reply

  38. Wehavecrashed

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Surprised nobody has said this yet, if woolworths and coles had 5X the supply it would go to waste on their shelves if they weren’t selling it for much lower prices than they are now.

    Woolworths don’t give a shit about how much is wasted because they’re making more money this way, and now they can start selling slightly weird food at slightly reduced prices and cut farmers markets out of the market.

    Reply

  39. Muzorra

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    We complain about how terrible this is, pretty much universally. But if you wanted a fair test I think it would be interesting to get all of this kind of thing and lay it out for every average punter and see what happens.

    Then I think you’d probably see all the same people leave nearly everything behind because they don’t like the look of it, because it’s a twin, ‘it’s too big to use all at once’, ‘it won’t fit in Johnny’s lunch box’, ‘I’m doing a salad and I want it to be plated just right like on Master Chef’ and assorted first world problems.

    Make no mistake, I think the onus is one the supermarkets to do something about this. They have the actual power to make real change here (short of government coming up with carbon and waste taxes and whatever else France probably did first). Retailers tell you what you’re going to want as much as anything else. But they are tilting towards our behaviour too.

    Reply

  40. CJTOshizzle

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    People say they would eat it but you would choose the nicer looking ones

    Reply

  41. Harvey_Wall_banger

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Because people won’t buy them. If you have these mixed in with otherwise normal looking ones people will always go for the normal ones and won’t pick them. As much as everyone here says differently. I know this as fact. I’ve worked in retail for 10 years

    Reply

  42. sony4life

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    That’s a lot of passata gone wanting

    Reply

  43. thecretin

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Sauce?

    Reply

  44. _____D34DP00L_____

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    There’s literally a tomato shortage in India that has driven up their price enormously, and this happens?

    Fucking supermarkets assuming people will not buy tomatoes at reduced price simply because they aren’t a perfect shade of red.

    Reply

  45. ausrandoman

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    I wish they would dump 100% of these flavourless tomatoids and replaced them with something tasted of tomato.

    Reply

  46. bearded_ddy

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Blame Woolworth’s and Coles. So much food wastage because it doesn’t meet their companies standards. Pretty shameful really. They screw the farmers down on price while only taking the best fruit and veg.

    Reply

  47. APersonNamedBen

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Nothing is wrong…go buy the new iPhone.

    Reply

  48. fellowcitizen

    October 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

    What an absolute shame. We need to do better.

    The fruit and veg in your typical supermarket is perfect looking but mostly bland tasting. I’d much rather some odd looking stuff that tastes great. The cherry tomatoes we pick from our garden comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes but they taste epic.

    Reply

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