HOUSTON, June 8, 2016 — At a recent House Agriculture Committee hearing on food waste, John Oxford, president and CEO, L&M Companies and chairman-elect of the Produce Marketing Association, spotlighted FreshPoint’s successful “Unusual But Usable” (UBU) Fruits & Veggies Program, aimed at reducing food waste percentages in the U.S.
Click here to see the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture mentioning the UBU program!
Two years ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched the U.S. Food Waste Challenge, calling on producers, processors, manufacturers, retailers, communities and other government agencies to join the effort to reduce, recover and recycle food waste. Remarkably, U.S. food waste is estimated at 30 to 40 percent of the food supply.
In response to this challenge, FreshPoint introduced the innovative UBU Program, where we partner with produce growers to take “ugly” or “imperfect” produce that might otherwise go to waste and find customers interested in utilizing it. Since our customers often chop or slice produce like peppers, carrots or whole tomatoes as part of a recipe, taking advantage of the UBU Program is a great way to reduce costs and the food waste often caused by cosmetic imperfections.
“When we talk about UBU quality, we’re talking about outward appearance only,” said Rich Dachman, Vice President-Produce. “The produce may be misshapen, blemished or scarred, but it’s fully usable product for dicing, blending, juicing or processing – and it follows the same quality assurance, traceability, and food safety standards as all other produce.”
He added that while UBU produce might not look perfect whole, the customer’s final dish has the same great taste and appearance.
Another key benefit of the UBU Program is it helps local growers to be more successful. A grower with FreshPoint Connecticut said, “This is an important program for us, as in order to pack out the very best in terms of market desirability, we can end up with potentially unmarketable product because of small imperfections. FreshPoint has developed a market for this produce and it’s helping our bottom line.”
Check out this short video on the UBU Program.
Submitted by This Week on @Sysco Today, Sysco Communications.