Fruta Feia/Ugly Fruits

Contact person:                                                    Isabel Soares (Project Manager/Coordinator)  E-mail:,



Delivery Points
1. Vila Nova De Gaia’s Delivery Point – Cooperativa Sol Maior – Rua 14 De Outubro Nº 264, 4430-046 Vila Nova De Gaia
2. Matosinhos’ Delivery Point – Ciap Cruz De Pau (Former Eb1 School) – Rua Da Cruz De Pau Nº 153, 4450-104 Matosinhos
3. Almada’s Delivery Point – Academia Almadense, Rua Capitão Leitão, 64, 2800-001 Almada
4. Intendente’s Delivery Point – Anjos 70 – Regueirão Dos Anjos, Nº 70, 1150-030 Lisboa
5. Campo De Santa Clara’s Delivery Point – Trienal De Arquitectura De Lisboa – Campo De Santa Clara Nº 144, 1100-471 Lisboa
6. Parede’s Delivery Point – Smup -rua Marquês De Pombal Nº 319, 2775-265 Parede
7. Porto’s Delivery Point – Cooperativa Do Povo Portuense, Crl – Rua Do Paraíso Nº 219, 4000-234 Porto
8. Rato’s Delivery Point – Mercado Do Rato-rua Alexandre Herculano Nº 64, 1250-096 Lisboa
9. Telheiras Delivery Point – O Lagar – Rua Professor Francisco Gentil 33, 1600-622 Lisboa
10. Amadora Delivery Point – Mecado da Venteira – Rua Aleixo Ribeiro, 2700-030 Amadora
11. Braga Delivery Point – Antiga Escola Dr. Francisco Sanches –
R. Dom Pedro V, 1B, 4710-356 Braga

References: more info you can find:

1. here, 2. here, 3. here, 4. here, 5. here, 6. here, 7. here, 8. here, 9. here, 10. here

WHERE: Portugal, 11 delivery points in Lisbon, Parede, Gaia, Oporto, Mastosinhos, Almada, Amadora, Braga
WHEN: 2013 – present (ongoing)
WASTE MANAGEMENT HIERARCHY: Prevention: Replacement – Reduction
TYPE OF INSTRUMENT: Voluntary / promotional
WASTE STREAMS: Food and organic waste

About: Fruta Feia Cooperative is a non-profit consumer’s cooperative, established to reduce food waste due to its appearance, channeling directly from the region’s farmers to consumers; part of the production of fruits and vegetables currently rejected for mere aesthetic reasons – shape, size or colour. The Cooperative started on November 18. 2013, with 1 delivery point in Lisbon, 100 associated consumers and 10 partner-farmers.
The program has been developed with the support of several stakeholders, including The Lisbon City Council and Superior Technical Institute of Lisbon. It has 800 associated consumers. 


About half the food produced in the world goes to waste every year. According to FAO, developed countries waste more than 1,3 thousand of million tons of food every year, enough to feed 925 million people that are starving worldwide. In Portugal, the waste goes up to 1,7 million tons per year, according to PERDA (2002).

Fruta Feia project wants to raise awareness among the population regarding the food waste problem, and also to prevent the unnecessary use of resources on their production, such as water, arable land, energy and working hours. By changing consumption patterns, this project intends that in the future all quality fruits and vegetables are marketed equally, regardless of their size, colour and shape.

Alongside this local impact, they hope to raise awareness among the population as well as to the fact that „ugly food” can be of good quality. This enables people to have access to food that is cheaper and produced locally.



Human resources

Thanks to 176 supporters, the crowdfunding campaign ( was very successful. Besides the essential financial help this campaign means to the growth of the Cooperative, it is inspiring to feel that there are several people who share these beliefs.


  • 4070 CONSUMERS
  • 1000 tonnes of waste was saved from disposal

Fruta Feia started in November 18, 2013 with 1 delivery point. Today it counts on 9 delivery points (4 in Lisbon, 1 in Parede, 1 in Almada, 1 in Oporto, 1 in Vila Nova de Gaia, 1 in Matosinhoos, 1 in Amadora and 1 in Braga), around 150 producers more than 3700 associated consumers and saves around 10 tons of fruits and vegetables from being thrown away every week!

Every week in its delivery points 300 consumers buy and prevent more than a 12 tons of fruits and vegetables from going to waste.

Other saved resources/point in every week:

  • 13,097 m3 water
  • 13 ha soil
  • 17,111 kwh energy
Pilot Project(Sept 2015) 1st year(Sept 2016) 2nd year(Sept 2017) Goal (Set 2018)
Food Waste reduction (ton/week) 3.3 6.5 9.9 12
Reduction of GHGs emissions (kg CO2 eq/week) 2,897 5,794 8,847 10,622
Resource efficiency – water (m3/week) 3,572 7,144 10,908 13,097
Resource efficiency – energy (KWh/week) 4,667 9,333 14,215 17,111
Resource efficiency – soil (ha) 3 6 10 13
Delivery points 3 6 8 11
Farmers 35 90 135 150
Associated Consumers 750 1,500 2,280 2,750
Employees 4 7 9 12
Volunteers 80 160 430 280
Pupils 111 1,535 3,121 2,985

Urban metabolism relevance

Fruta Feia Cooperative aims mainly to channel that part of the wasted fruits and vegetables to consumers who do not judge the quality by its appearance, thus fighting a market inefficiency and creating a movement that can change consumption patterns and that can create a market to the so called „ugly fruit”. A market that generates value and fights not only this waste but also the unnecessary waste of resources used in their production (water, energy and soil).

Given the environmentally responsible nature of Fruta Feia, they only work with local farmers whose farming practices are not aggressive to the environment.

Fruta Feia Co-Op does not foresee home deliveries, in order to avoid the environmental and economic costs of door-to-door deliveries of thousands of boxes each week.

By promoting a proximity consumption that respects both Man and Nature’s values, FLAW4LIFE emerges fully aligned with the European Parliament call on the Member States to encourage and support initiatives geared to stimulating sustainable small- and medium-scale production linked to local and regional markets and consumption.


SCOW’s goal was to define an innovative and sustainable biowaste management system through effective collection and waste treatment into technologically simple and decentralized small-scale composting plants, located near biowaste generation sites, and, at the same time, where the compost could be applied.

Engaged participatory processes

The project was originally developed following a crowdfunding campaign that benefited from the support of 176 persons benefiting from the involvement of a significant number of stakeholders from the start. It was subsequently extended through the FLAW4LIFE’s Program, co-funded by LIFE’s European Union Program, when local authorities and specialized stakeholders joined the project.

The project approach is implicitly participatory as it serves 4070 consumers and 154 agricultural producers and during the project there were developed activities with over 160 volunteers and 1535 children.

Every week they work directly with local producers, gathering from their farms the small, big or misshaped fruits and vegetables that they cannot sell. With these products they set two sizes of boxes for their associated consumers at Fruta Feia CRL.The consumers pay, when picking up their first Fruta Feia box, an annual fee worth 5 €.

They also work with associations, cafes, restaurants, etc., and their products are intended for consumption, not for resale.

Partners and supporting parties:

  • Flaw 4 Life –Ugly Food Against Food Waste project –financed by Life Programme of European Union
  • Instituto Superior Tecnico​ of Lisbon Lisboa City Council

Sites to weekly set and distribute Fruta Feia boxes:










10. Amadora Delivery Point

11. Braga Delivery Point

Sustainability and replicability

The practice can be easily reproduced by (local) public authorities and is relevant for other regions across Europe.The success of the national replication is essential to guarantee it’s impact and, therefore, their goal is to replicate this alternative consumption model in other places through local delivery points.

The practice continues to have effect and be functional once the funding/organizational support ended with the support of consumers who pay when picking up Fruta Feia box, an annual fee of € 5. but also with the support of the other stakeholders (volunteers, local producers, implementation and promotional partners).

Success Factors

• The crowdfunding campaign financed by 176 supporters
• Funding received from the Life Program of the European Union
• Involvement of a large number of stakeholders in the implementation of the project

The practice has clearly defined objectives and measurable results (see above).


Waste, Resources, Innovation.

Key Challenges

  • The Reluctance of some consumers to buy „ugly food” and lack of involvement of some public authorities in the extension of the project.


For more information, please check the deliverable, or contact the implementing body.

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