Suppliers Offer Support for Sprouts Farmers Market's Rescued Organic Program
PHOENIX, AZ - Earlier this week, we reported on Sprouts Farmers Market's new initiative: the Rescued Organics Program. Several well-known industry names are affiliated with the program, and we wanted to hear more from them regarding the importance of programs like these at retail.
“Bako Sweet® has had an incredible relationship with Sprouts and their shoppers for years, so we were delighted when they came to us with this idea last year,” remarked Prescott Leyba, Director of Sales for Country Sweet Produce. “As a grower, one of our biggest complaints is seeing perfectly good, fresh product go to waste because of visual imperfections. We’re happy that Sprouts is so invested in the long-term sustainability of growing and packing fresh produce, and we are looking forward to working together to reduce food waste while providing high-quality produce to shoppers across California.”
When speaking with us, Prescott noted that—although estimates are difficult to project—based on what the retailer ordered in January, it’s likely that 750,000 lbs, or 19 full truckloads, will be saved from going to waste in 2023.
Peri & Sons Farms® echoed the sentiments outlined by the grocer, also wanting to support less food waste.
“We are happy to be involved with Sprouts’ Rescued Organics program because too much perfectly good produce goes to waste, solely due to appearance, and contributes to our growing environmental and landfill problems,” commented Mindy VanVleck, Director of Sales at Peri & Sons Farms. “Sprouts’ Rescued Organics program also allows Peri & Sons Farms to more efficiently fill our produce trucks, which helps the success of our local farm and lessens our overall carbon footprint for delivery of goods.”
Rochelle Bohm of CMI Orchards commented on the program and its benefits.
“At CMI Orchards, we believe that it’s what inside that counts. In America, as much as 30 percent of all apples and pears grown don’t make the cut, abandoned for cosmetic reasons,” the Vice President of Marketing shared. “Yet inside, these pieces of fruit are sweet as pie and just as tasty and nutritious as you’d expect an apple or pear to be. Partners like Sprouts recognize that natural treefruit grows in all shapes and sizes, and wise shoppers recognize that imperfections should be celebrated. As growers, having opportunities to sell ‘the whole tree’—including blemished fruit that is just as tasty and delicious inside—helps to keep us in business. This is what a true partnership looks like, from the tree to the table.”
Live Oak Farms also shared a similar sentiment.
“We appreciate that Sprouts is committed to finding innovative ways to offer organic produce at lower price points, making organics more accessible. Their continual effort to work directly with growers is refreshing and is appreciated by the farming community," Briana Giampaoli, Marketing and Product Innovation, Live Oak Farms, said. "Veggies are like people; they aren’t all perfect, but they are still awesome! The Rescued program helps find a home for traditionally ‘ugly’ fruit, while simultaneously encouraging growers to continue to plant organic commodities. Thank you Sprouts!”
We applaud those buyers and suppliers in our industry that tackle problems together. Continue to read ANUK for the latest in all things fresh.