In early 2013, RMIT Industrial Design had a 'Casey Food Hub' design studio. With collaboration of VEIL and Casey City Council, students designed food solutions for the city of Casey, a city located in Melbourne's South-East. It is an area with rapidly expanding urban population and highly productive farms and farmers surrounding it, however, the delicious fruitful produce is not accessible for the local residents straight from the farm.
After some research, I realised there are a few food problems going on in the City of Casey:
1. Local quality fresh produce is not accessible to the locals
2. Farmers are having trouble to sell "ugly produce" to big buyers like supermarket, as they have strict guidelines upon the cosmetic appearance of fruit and veggies
3. Locals are busy and purchasing quality fresh produce is not very easy, there are not many options for them
MonsterVeg is the solution I proposed to the Casey City Council in June 2013, in order to help them solve these fresh produce problems.
MonsterVeg is a local business that incorporates fresh produce vans and an online shop. It aims to reduce food waste, increase food accessibility and promote fun and easy cooking for residents of the City of Casey. The business purchases the fruit and veggies that are not up to supermarket's cosmetic standards from farmers in the area, then resell these "ugly produce" by educating consumers about the goodness of these ugly but still good veggies, and market the monstery ugly with stories and characters. MonsterVeg also provides seasonal recipes to customers to inspire them with new ways to cook their fresh and delicious veggies.
Local residents can purchase the fresh produce online and have them deliver to the door, or they can purchase the fruit and veggie from MonsterVeg's fruit and veggie vans that drive around the area. It provides a very easy solution to the locals to get fresh produce, and it also helps the farmers to get some money for those otherwise wasted fresh produce.
A year after this proposal to Casey city council, Intermarché, the 3rd major supermarket in France had launched a similar campaign for ugly veggies, and has a massive, smashing success. Since then, this concept has been adopted by other supermarkets throughout Europe. Eating ugly produce has become the latest trend. It also changes many people's veggies purchase preferences, and saved a lot of food from being dumped and wasted.