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Tomato Express – Managing food surplus in Ierapetra

Dear Friends!

It has been a while since you have heard from us! Yet it has been a busy period, covering a variety of projects which we are more than excited to share with you. 

Are you already aware of “Tomato Express”?

Our program “Tomato Express” has been distributing what local farmers consider as “imperfect” vegetables to the tables of those in need, for some years now. Due to ”Tomato Express”’ success and impact we are planning to extend its scope and recurrence. 

Here in Ierapetra, the considerable number of greenhouses make a huge contribution to the local economy. Among the tons of vegetables produced every year, too much surplus ends up in landfills.  But what exactly is food surplus?  Food surplus occurs when the supply of food exceeds the demand for it. It can happen at every stage of the supply chain, from farm to fridge to fork, involving farmers, manufacturers, retail outlets and individual households.

There are many reasons for food surplus including:

Overproduction – it can be difficult for a food producer to correctly estimate the quantity of food to grow or make, particularly taking into account seasonal demand.

Food Imperfection – Many foods may be discarded (for example fruit and vegetables) because they are physically imperfect or not as attractive or in demand as other foods. There can also be leftovers which don’t fit standard packing sizes.

Past Best Before Date – This relates to quality not safety.  Many people discard food when it has passed its best before date, not knowing it can often be enjoyed for far longer.

Damaged packaging – food may be discarded because its packaging has become damaged during the manufacturing or transportation process.

Help us minimize waste and improve the quality of life in our community by getting involved with our “Tomato Express” as a donor or as a volunteer.

At the same time, stay tuned for more updates on how well being and helping those in need can be provided with a sustainable twist!

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