Food wastage being caused by unrealistic cosmetic standards, rising cost of Christmas staples

A video by a small business owner went viral on TikTok, claiming that the “unrealistic” beauty standards of supermarket chains are causing mass waste and a skyrocketing cherry price.

Josh Ball, the co-founder of Farmer’s Pick, is seen in the video with 4,000 kg of rescued cherries that were allegedly thrown out because they were “millimetres too small” or had “a blemish.”

In the video, he says: “This year over three million kilograms of cherries will go to waste.”

They don’t meet supermarket beauty standards.

Mr Ball continues to state that the rejected fruits have no less taste than their prettier siblings, which they collect at Farmers Pick and then sell at a discounted rate.

This video has been viewed over 330,000 times.

He said, “They are just as sweet and juicy.”

Woolworths’ spokesperson responded that they “work closely” to ensure “we maximise total crop and reduce any waste.”

Also, they said that some fruits with less-than-stellar looks are accepted and sold at a discounted price.

The spokesperson added, “This also includes selling imperfect fruits through The Odd Bunch.”

We offer fruit with a few imperfections, but it still tastes great for at least 20% less than our regular range.

Coles spokesperson said that they strive to strike a balance between reducing food waste and ensuring the customer receives a high-quality product. They also offer a variety of affordable fruits.

They said: “We evaluate all produce for its eating quality, ripeness and pest damage. We also consider the appearance of the product and the expected shelf-life. We are committed to reducing food wastage while balancing these factors.”

“A growing number of our customers are realizing that delicious fruit and vegetables can come in many shapes and sizes. They’re increasingly purchasing our I’mPerfect line, which provides customers with fresh and nutritious fruits and vegetables at an affordable price.

Coles returned over $37 million in returns to its suppliers for the I’mPerfect fruit and vegetable range.

Mr Ball stated that the supermarket ranges are not enough to assist struggling farmers. This is especially true for cherry farmers, who are currently working because rain has split their fruit this season. Prices are also extremely high for the average customer.

He said: “What supermarkets are offering is a great step forward, but it’s a bit limited and comes in only select quantities.”

It sees cherries starting at $22 per kilo and then on sale for $16.90.