The cosmetic appearance of fruit may be how many supermarket shoppers decide which piece to buy, but experts warn this approach is a significant factor contributing to Australia's 7.6 million tons of food waste a year.
Melissa Smith is the horticulture action plan lead at Stop Food Waste Australia, an organisation established in 2020 by the federal government to lead the delivery of Australia's national food waste strategy to halve food waste by 2030. She claims that 22 per cent of food waste occurred at the primary production level, and one of the major reasons was the produce not meeting quality specifications.
"Eighty per cent of the produce that's wasted is edible, which is pretty awful. It's a huge frustration for growers … that what they're producing can't always be sold."