Post written by Half Your Plate friend and RD Laurie Barker Jackman

By respecting food from farm to table we are being aware and valuing where food is grown, harvested, distributed and supplied. By regarding this process with high value we can ensure the standard of our food is maintained. Fruits and vegetables need to be handled with care to ensure their quality. These nutritional gems are highly perishable, so special attention needs to be given to maintain their properties and safety throughout all aspects of the supply chain from production to consumption to increase their availability.

*DYK up to 50% of fruits and vegetables produced in developing countries are lost in the supply chain between harvest and consumption? Food loss is highest in developing countries and usually results from a lack of technology and infrastructure. Food waste occurs in retail and the consumer level and involves inappropriate handling of fruits and vegetables. Both food loss and waste result in a waste of nutrients, money, lower profits for farmers and higher costs for consumers. Loss and waste of fruits and vegetables also affect valuable resources used to grow and handle produce such as land, water and energy.

There are many initiatives to take to reduce loss and waste with our precious produce including harvesting at the appropriate stage of maturity, properly packaging produce for transport, allowing air flow during transportation and sorting and re-packaged to meet customer demand at the wholesale level. Even when the fruit and vegetable makes it to the home, storing them properly can extend their life and quality.

We know that innovation, improved technologies and infrastructure are the keys to reducing loss and waste and increasing productivity in the fruit and vegetable supply chains. Mucci Farms is a great example of an organization respecting food from farm to table. They able to reduce food miles on their produce by growing in greenhouses 365 days a year.  Mucci Farms puts an emphasis on efficiency.  They have invested in state-of-the-art automation and robotics to provide consumers the highest level of food safety, minimal product handling and maximum shelf-life of their products. This month they are featuring their trademarked Cherto™ tomatoes! Cherto™ (short for cherry tomatoes) gourmet cherry tomatoes are kept on-the-vine to achieve maximum flavour and freshness.

Learn more about them here.

Looking for delicious recipes featuring these irresistible bite-sized tomatoes? Check these out:

*Stats are from International Year of Fruits and Vegetables Communications Handbook and Toolkit and the UN Background Paper.

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