The main objective of the project Fruta Feia, meaning “ugly” fruit, is to sell that part of the production, nowadays wasted, to the consumers that do not judge the quality by the exterior, reducing both the food waste and the unnecessary resources used in crops production.
In a society with increasing poverty and even some hunger, there is the ironic and sad situation of wasting 30% of the crops produced in Portugal. Despite the quality and taste, this part of the fruits and vegetables wasted do not have the perfect “look” in terms of colour, shape and calibre demanded by the main distribution chains and chosen by the consumers.
The main goal of the project Fruta Feia is to channel that part of the crops production to the consumers that do not judge the quality by the exterior. This project aims to end this market inefficiency, building a brand and a movement that can change the current consumption patterns, and finally creating a market for the “ugly” fruit. A market that generates value and fights food waste, as well as the unnecessary resources used in crops production (water, land and energy).
For that, we constituted a consumer cooperative with a national range, starting with a pilot project in Bairro dos Anjos (Lisbon). Other delegations will be replicated in the future in other Portuguese regions. Associated to the consumer cooperative Fruta Feia, several awareness campaigns will be undertaken regarding the food waste problem, in Portugal corresponding to 1 million tons of food wasted per year.
Fruta Feia was awarded as one of the three winners of the Ideias de Origem Portuguesa competition promoted by the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian. This was crucial for the project, due to both the recognition of the project and the 15 thousand Euros award. This value is, however, still insufficient to start the project, budgeted in 23.5 thousand Euros.
With this crowdfunding action we wish to get part of the funding missing, namely to cover the acquisition costs of a transportation van and to assure the initial weekly expenses with the transport. The van will transport the products from the producer to the consumer.
Help us fight the food waste
Don´t judge the quality by the exterior
Pretty people eat ugly fruit!
About the author
Motivated by the need to invert the current trend of normalized fruit and vegetables, and to fight the food waste inherent, Isabel Soares gathered a team capable to develop what is today the project Fruta Feia.
We are today a multidisciplinary team composed of three engineers in the central core, more active – Isabel Soares, Inês Ribeiro and Francisco Gonçalves – and to more specific tasks, three other people focused on those assignments – Sara Santos (designer), Ana Carvalho (jurist) and João Veríssimo (computer science expert):
Isabel Soares, 31 years old. Environmental Engineer and Master in Renewable Resources, decided to leave Barcelona where she lived for 7 years to be fully dedicated to the implementation of this project in Portugal. Has professional experience in project management in the areas of environmental engineering and Energy, and personal experience as partner of a self-managed consumer cooperative of fruits and vegetables. She is responsible for the full management of the Fruta Feia project, and the person fully dedicated to it.
Francisco Gonçalves, 33 years old. Environmental Engineer with a post-graduation in sanitary engineering is currently part of a municipal agency for energy and environment in Lisbon, Lisboa E-Nova, managing technically and financially projects related to urban management (energetic efficiency and urban water cycle). He is in charge of establishing partnerships with other projects/initiatives in the Lisbon area and to present the project to potential funding sources in the future (national and European)
Inês Ribeiro, 31 years old. Graduated in Mechanical Engineering with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, is a researcher in IST in the area of economic and environmental evaluation of products and industrial processes. She is responsible for the optimization and design of the transportation system from the farmers to the cooperative.
Sara Santos, 30 years old. Graphic Designer, works in editorial projects and graphic communication in the cultural area. She conceived the cooperative identity of Fruta Feia and is in charge of the production of all the graphic material for communication and merchandising.
Ana Carvalho, 33 years old. Graduated in Law, with professional experience in Contract Management. She is our legal assistant and person responsible for the legal constitution of the consumer cooperative and, when necessary, for the management of contracts with suppliers and services to be established, namely with famers.
João Veríssimo, 31 years old. Electrical and Computer Engineer, working for several years as a freelance software developer. He will develop the cooperative website.
Our team is perfect for the project as it gathers the required technical skills to build a model that guarantees the lowest environmental impact possible, the motivation of a person that returned to Portugal to be fully dedicated to its implementation, and above all, because we believe that it is necessary and possible to change the current consumption paradigm.