These days when you go to the supermarket, or green grocer, you are presented with multiple options. The Western world is reknowned for only wanting the best of everything but refreshingly, I believe we are in the midst of change where many people are trying to make more mindful purchases. We are learning that something looking ‘perfect’ does not necessarily equal perfection. And we are also beginning to learn or appreciate that buying seasonal produce means that fresh products can be enjoyed at their best.
We are now given the option of buying what can only be described as ‘seconds’. And whilst their appearance may not be perfect, often the produce tastes the same (if not better) than their pretty peers.
Jamie Oliver has been pretty instrumental in Woolworths’ campaign dubbed ‘The Odd Bunch’, which provides seasonal produce that looks a bit ‘ugly’ but is marketed at a more attractive price. The farmers have set aside land, watered, fertilised and cared for this produce, and it would be so incredibly wasteful to simply cast them aside.
It was quite the breath of fresh air when I read in UK newspaper, The Sun, that one big retailer is trying the same concept with flowers. Flowers with smaller blooms, shorter stems or other ‘defects’.
The reality of flower production is pretty harsh. For stock grown outside, it is at the mercy of nature. Heavy rain can cause mildew or fungal problems. Harsh, dry temperature can result in smaller blooms, shorter stems, and sometimes a glut of produce all available at one time. Wind damage results in fewer blooms as well as damage to leaves and petals. Hail can have devastating effects on produce, wiping out whole crops, or causing horrendous damage that makes sale impossible.
The farmers are already up against so much, so this would be a wonderful scheme to implement and keep farmers on their properties, and able to make a living.
Drew Kirk, from Morrisons in the UK said: “It would be a shame to see these beautiful stems go to waste just because they’re a few centimetres too short.
“Our wonky range helps growers and farmers reduce waste and at the same time helps customers to afford to buy flowers more often.”
And this is something that we could certainly apply here also. Flowers are often viewed as a luxury item, so of course, they will be the first item scratched from the list when the budget doesn’t allow it. People LOVE having fresh flowers in their home, and with this scheme, more people could afford to have them at home more often, whilst reducing the waste and loss for our local flower farmers. Sounds like a win, win to me