Delhaize begins selling “ugly veggies”


In an effort to combat food waste, supermarket chain Delhaize has launched a pilot project selling boxes of less-than-perfect vegetables

Delhaize has started testing the sale of “ugly veggies” at a special low price. What do you think?

Fighting food waste

Delhaize supermarkets are to begin selling boxes of “ugly vegetables” in an effort to tackle the problem of food waste.

Ugly vegetables are those that do not correspond to our modern requirements of regularity of shape, size or colour, but which nevertheless meet the supermarket’s standards of quality and freshness, Delhaize spokesperson Roel Dekelver explained.

In a pilot project lasting 14 weeks and involving 16 stores, Delhaize will sell ugly vegetables in 2.5kg boxes for a flat price of €3.99. The case contains a selection of vegetables according to the market of the day, all grown in Belgium. The supermarkets involved include stores in Brussels, Bruges, Wilrijk, Sint-Niklaas, Mechelen, Eeklo, Overijse and Wezembeek.

“It’s not a coincidence that Delhaize is the first supermarket to offer these products,” Dekelver said. “Delhaize has been fighting food waste for years, not just by giving away unsold products but also by ensuring that vegetables that may not look perfect still find their way to the consumer. Every year a third of food produced is not consumed. A large proportion of malformed vegetables don’t get used in the conventional food chain. We want to do something about that.”

Photo courtesy Delhaize

Flemish agriculture and horticulture

Flanders is an important global food exporter. The main agricultural activities differ from region to region – with pig, cow, vegetable and dairy-farming the most important. In recent years, the sector has been heavily affected by the economic downturn and falling global food prices.
Green - Organic farming accounts for just a fraction of Flemish agriculture, but the sector has slowly been growing in recent years.
Greenhouse - Flanders has been a trailblazer in mapping the carbon footprint of agriculture.
Forgotten - Flemish horticulture’s “Bel’Orta” label aims to promote lesser-known vegetables like parsnip, parsley root and kohlrabi.

percent of Belgium’s fruit harvest comes from Flanders

25 982

agriculture businesses in Flanders in 2011

51 530

people employed in Flemish agriculture and horticulture in 2011