The ERASMUS+ project UglyFruitsNOT! focuses on the promotion of sustainability awareness and the conception, implementation and evaluation of training measures for vocational trainers with regard to consumer education issues with a view to reducing fruit and vegetable waste in the context of sustainable production. Awareness and information modules are implemented within a learning platform for this purpose. UglyFruitsNOT! has a duration of 24 months, with the project language being English.

2021 is the International Year of Fruit and Vegetables, which aims to raise awareness of the nutritional and health benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption. Unfortunately, of the total amount of food produced globally for individual consumption, around one third of edible fruit and vegetables worldwide are removed from the food supply chain, discarded and wasted each year (FAO, 2019; de Hooge et al., 2018, p. 698).

In addition, consumers unfortunately tend to judge the quality of fruit and vegetables based on their appearance. For example, if fruit is not the right size, shape or colour, they tend to throw it away or not buy it. This results in a considerable amount of waste, even though the „ugly“ fruit and vegetables still have the same nutritional value. They taste the same, but are discarded due to their poor appearance and abnormal appearance.

Our current fruit and vegetable supply chains are linear and many of the problems we face today are often the direct result of the ‚take, make, use and dispose‘ system of ‚take, make, use and dispose‘ that characterises these chains and leads to high levels of food loss or waste. There is a need at European and national level to stimulate thought processes and foundations for behavioural change through education and awareness-raising, especially within the supply chain and particularly among retailers who come into direct contact with consumers. This is an essential basis for consumer education issues and suggestions for changing consumer behaviour.