The next time you go to the supermarket, take a look at all the beautiful fruits and vegetables on display. Each piece of produce looks immaculate – they are the just the right size and shape and are free of any physical imperfections. However, behind the perfect veneer is a dark secret: these fruits and vegetables are the chosen few. The reality is that a lot of perfectly good food is thrown away as waste just because it looks a bit, well, wonky.
It's not just about customers being picky about how their food looks. Consider that wonky cucumbers can't fit through plastic-wrapping machines, or that wonky eggplants can't be mass packed. All those perfectly good, fresh and delicious fruits and veggies end up rotting away in landfills, releasing greenhouse gases.
Enter Wonky Box, a food-rescue enterprise that is not only saving wonky fruits and vegetables from becoming waste, but is also helping growers, consumers and the planet at the same time.
Local farmers in New Zealand supply Wonky with their imperfect or surplus fruits and veggies and the Wonky team then works to box up and deliver the fresh produce to customers all over Wellington and the Hutt Valley.
Environmental sustainability is important to Wonky Box and they pay attention to the details. Even the boxes that they deliver are recyclable, right down to the paper tape. They try to use as little plastic as possible, and influence their growers to do the same.
Another detail they paid attention to is that over the past decade traffic emissions in Wellington increased by 14%, and in New Zealand as a whole by a whopping 50%. Wonky wanted to be part of the solution, not the problem, so they plan their delivery routes to be as efficient as possible using EasyRoutes for Shopify.
"[EasyRoutes] integrates really well with our Shopify website and makes generating routes effortless."
EasyRoutes is a delivery management app that helps manage deliveries, from route optimization, to picking and packing, to dispatch and customer tracking. “EasyRoutes has been a huge help to us whilst we've been setting up our business. The app integrates really well with our Shopify website and makes generating routes effortless,” says Katie Jackson, co-founder of Wonky Box. “EasyRoutes is straightforward to use and has multiple features to suit a variety of different business models. To top it off, whenever we've had any queries we've had super speedy answers from their support team.”
Wonky regularly delivers to more than 400 homes. To plan routes manually would take hours, but with EasyRoutes it's simply a matter of selecting the orders you want to deliver and pressing a button. Optimized routes means faster deliveries and less petrol used. “We are hoping that our one van delivering fresh produce will take more cars off the road that are headed to the supermarket.”
At the end of the week any extra produce left over after Wonky's deliveries gets donated to Everybody Eats in Wellington City Centre, a restaurant that serves good food that would otherwise be wasted on a pay-what-you-can policy to help fight food poverty and social isolation.
It's obvious that Wonky Box cares about their impact on the world around them as much as they care about fruits and vegetables, and with every delivery Wonky and EasyRoutes hope to spread their message of vegetable-acceptance and further the fight against food waste.
To learn more about Wonky Box, visit their website at https://wonkybox.nz.