Church Brothers ImperfectVeg Program Looks to Reduce Both Water and Farm Waste

Mon. July 6th, 2015
- by Christofer Oberst     

SALINAS, CA – Church Brothers is enacting a new program to reduce water and farm waste, while also incorporating a growing produce trend.

“The trend is going viral in the foodservice sector due to the Compass Group helping tell the #IDP story and build awareness with restaurant operators, chefs and consumers,” Vince Ballesteros, Church Brothers’ VP of Business Development, said in a press release. “We are seeing more support and requests for these edible and nutritious fresh produce items and we’re working with our distribution partners to make the introduction and implementation of these products is successful."

Vince Ballesteros, Church Brothers’ VP of Business Development, holding a box of Imperfect Veggies

Aptly named #ImperfectVeg, Church Brothers is looking to sell fresh produce that, though still perfectly edible, previously would have either been thrown away or not harvested at all because it did not meet the industry standards for cosmetic attributes.

Kori Tuggle, VP of Marketing, Church Bros.

“It’s a win-win for all involved,” Kori Tuggle, VP of Marketing, said in the release, stating that this rapidly growing trend is a gift to the produce industry. “Growers, foodservice operators and chefs benefit from the halo effect of the product’s story, and consumers want to do their part in helping reduce food waste and eat vegetables that use less water to grow.”

According to the company, the items included in the #ImperfectVeg program will be:

  • Direct field-packed Romaine leaves and cauliflower
  • Value-added Broccoli fines
  • A by-product of florets and second crop baby kale
  • Baby chard
  • Clip spinach

“We are starting with a small number of items to trial first with the direction of Compass Group,” Ballesteros said. “Once we receive feedback, we will evaluate where there is opportunity to improve and expand the product list.”

Tuggle added that #ImperfectVeg could be more acceptable with the foodservice sector if the company can educate chefs on what they are receiving because consumers choose off a menu description instead of with their eyes on the retail side of purchase.

According to Church Brothers, its #ImperfectVeg product line will be on display at the PMA Foodservice Expo in booth #23.

Church Brothers