LIFE Project Cover Photo

Spreading ugLy Fruit Against food Waste

Reference: LIFE14 ENV/PT/000817 | Acronym: FLAW4LIFE

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

BACKGROUND

In Portugal, a million tonnes of food are wasted every year, amounting to 17% of the total food production. The reasons are numerous and occur along all the food supply chain: intensive production models, inadequate storage and transportation, expiration dates that are too tight and sale discounts that encourage consumers to buy unreasonably. Another reason is the preference for fruit and vegetables that are ‘perfect’ in terms of shape, colour and size, which ultimately restricts food consumption. This food waste has also environmental implications, since it involves the unnecessary use of resources in their production (soil, energy and water).


OBJECTIVES

The FLAW4LIFE project aimed to change food consumption habits and create an alternative market for ‘ugly’ (or less than perfect-looking) fruit and vegetables. It aimed to bring about the equal marketing of all quality fruit and vegetables regardless of their size, colour and shape. The project achieved this goal by replicating nationally an innovative methodology (called Fruta Feia or Ugly Fruit), which had already been tested in Lisbon.


RESULTS

Fruta Feia's methodology consisted of buying weekly from local producers the small, big or misshaped products that they cannot sell in the regular market and then selling these products to Fruta Feia’s associated consumers, who pick them up at the end of the day at fixed delivery points. The project increased the number of delivery points in Portugal to 11, thus avoiding approximately 460 tonnes of waste annually.

During the first phase of the project implementation, the pilot project was optimised and a business plan drawn up. Based on the results and lessons learned in the pilot project, eight new delivery points were set up. With the support of local authorities and target groups, a nationwide network of farmers, local coordinators and consumers was established.

Furthermore, the FLAW4LIFE project established the resources required to foster an international network of associations and other entities involved in food waste management. It provided support to associations, transferring the know-how and the comprehensive results in Portugal.

The FLAW4LIFE project exceeded expectations in the way it demonstrated its methods. It resulted in 14.6 tonnes less fruit and vegetable waste per week (from a goal of 11.9 tonnes per week), increased farm efficiencies – saving 16 054 m3 of water/week, 20 975 kWh/week of energy and 16 ha of arable soil – and reduced GHG emissions from transportation and decomposition by 13,021 kg CO2 eq/week. First tested in Lisbon, the deliveries were rolled out to other cities (Porto, Gaia, Matosinhos, Braga, Amadora and Almada) with greater numbers of participants and more fruit and vegetables saved than expected:

  • 187 farmers were involved (goal: 150);
  • 3 410 associated consumers chose boxes (goal: 2 750);
  • 11 jobs created specifically for the project, matching the project goal;
  • 767 volunteers to help setting boxes (goal: 280); and
  • 310 boxes were sent per delivery point (goal: 250).
  • These results show the project’s relevance to environmental policies at all levels (regional/local, national and European) in its capacity to reduce food waste and increase resource efficiency. In particular, it has already influenced the Portuguese National Strategy to Combat Food Waste through the “Guidelines on sustainable consumption” produced by the project. The project has proven that the consumption model proposed is fully replicable in other regions in Portugal facing similar situations. Furthermore, the project received visits from several international associations interested in replicating Fruta Feia’s approach. Three of them have been able to effectively implement a similar project (in the USA, Brazil and Netherlands). A “Powered by Fruta Feia” logotype was created to be used by those projects and associations that successfully replicated the Fruta Feia’s methodology, based on the same principles and motivations.

    Social benefits were also a strong element. Local associations hosting the delivery points were revitalised; minority and vulnerable groups (refugees, socially vulnerable women and children, needy families and people with psychiatric problems) gained volunteering experience; and at the end of each day leftover boxes and products from delivery points were given to social institutions.

    In terms of education, the project organised awareness-raising activities in municipal schools in Lisbon to explain the problem of wasting food based on appearance, and to encourage sustainable consumption by eating local, seasonal and ugly fruits and vegetables. 4 119 pupils – over 1 000 more than planned – took part in salad contests, food weeks and games, and a book written by students from 15 schools was published. A best practices handbook was also published.

    Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).

    ADMINISTRATIVE DATA


    Reference: LIFE14 ENV/PT/000817
    Acronym: FLAW4LIFE
    Start Date: 14/09/2015
    End Date: 13/09/2018
    Total Eligible Budget: 534,336 €
    EU Contribution: 320,600 €
    Project Location:

    CONTACT DETAILS


    Coordinating Beneficiary: Fruta Feia CRL
    Legal Status: PNC
    Address: Azinhaga da Cidade TB 4D, 1750-065, LISBOA, Portugal
    Contact Person: Isabel SOARES
    Email: Send Email
    Website: Visit Website


    LIFE Project Map

    ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ADDRESSED

    THEMES

    • Waste reduction - Raw material saving
    • Agricultural waste

    KEYWORDS

    • agricultural waste

    TARGET EU LEGISLATION

    • Directive 2008/98 - Waste and repealing certain Directives (Waste Framework Directive) (19.11.2008)
    • Directive 1999/31 - Landfill of waste (26.04.1999)

    BENEFICIARIES

    Name Type
    Fruta Feia CRL Coordinator
    CML(Câmara Municipal de Lisboa), Portugal Participant
    IST(Instituto Superior Técnico), Portugal Participant
    CML(Câmara Municipal de Lisboa), Portugal Participant
    IST(Instituto Superior Técnico), Portugal Participant

    READ MORE

    Type Resource
    Brochure "Flaw4life: Ugly Fruit Against Food Waste"
    Project web site Project's website
    Poster Project's roll-up
    Publication After-LIFE Communication Plan
    Publication Layman report
    Publication Layman report (Portuguese version)
    Publication "Guidelines on Sustainable Consumption"
    Publication "Guia para um consumo sustentável"
    Video link "Gente bonita produz Fruta Feia: #1 - Manuel Raposo" (3')
    Video link Project's video (2' - PT)
    Video link Project's video (1'56 - EN)
    Video link "Gente bonita produz Fruta Feia: #17 - Mario Rodrigues (Frutalmente)" (2')
    Video link "Gente bonita produz Fruta Feia: #18 - Alexandra Resende e Manuel Torres" (5')
    Video link "Gente bonita produz Fruta Feia: #19 - Paula Santos" (2')
    Video link "Gente bonita produz Fruta Feia: #20 - Rosa Ferro" (3')
    Video link "Gente bonita produz Fruta Feia: #21 - Zé Luís Santos" (2')
    Video link "Gente bonita produz Fruta Feia: #22 - Duarte Carreira" (3')
    Video link "Gente bonita produz Fruta Feia: #5 - Isabel Alves" (2')
    Video link "Gente bonita produz Fruta Feia: #2 - Pedro Alves" (2')
    Video link "Gente bonita produz Fruta Feia: #16 - Nuno Santos" (2')
    Video link "Gente bonita produz Fruta Feia: #15 - Alice Amorim" (2')
    Video link "Gente bonita produz Fruta Feia: #14 - Adelino Silva" (3')
    Video link "Gente bonita produz Fruta Feia: #13 - António Gomes" (2')
    Video link "Gente bonita produz Fruta Feia: #12 - Susana Oliveira" (2')
    Video link "Gente bonita produz Fruta Feia: #11 - Zé Manel" (2')
    Video link "Gente bonita produz Fruta Feia: #3 - Lucília Domingos" (3')
    Video link "Gente bonita produz Fruta Feia: #4 - Paulo Dias" (3')
    Video link "Gente bonita produz Fruta Feia: #6 - João Alves" (2')
    Video link "Gente bonita produz Fruta Feia: #7 - Emílio Dias" (2')
    Video link "Gente bonita produz Fruta Feia: #8 - Célia Barbosa" (2')
    Video link "Gente bonita produz Fruta Feia: #9 - Eugénia Dias e Victor Baião" (5')
    Video link "Gente bonita produz Fruta Feia: #10 - Fernanda e Manel" (3')
    Project web site - 2 Project's Twitter
    Project web site - 2 Project's Facebook page
    Newsletter "Flaw4life: Ugly Fruit Against Food Waste: Newsletter 2, 22.12.16" (Portuguese version)
    Newsletter "Flaw4life: Ugly Fruit Against Food Waste: Newsletter 1" (401 KB)
    Newsletter "Flaw4life: Ugly Fruit Against Food Waste: Newsletter 1" (362 KB)
    Newsletter "Flaw4life: Ugly Fruit Against Food Waste: Newsletter 2 (22.12.16)"
    Leaflet "Flaw4life : Ugly Fruit Against Food Waste" (5.04 MB)