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Baldor Foods sourcing ugly produce from local farms

Baldor Specialty Foods, the premier ingredient source for NYC’s top chefs and one of the largest produce distributors in the Northeast, is working with two local farms, Hepworth Farms of Milton, NY, and Satur Farms of Cutchogue, NY, to bring second cuts and aesthetically imperfect produce to market. Baldor plans to expand the service to additional farms in the near

Launched as the Imperfect Produce Program, the initiative creates a market for the perfectly good and nutritious, locally grown produce that would otherwise go to waste.

“Virtually a third of a farmer’s crop never makes it to market because of oddly shaped or cosmetically blemished items that the food service industry routinely rejects,” said Thomas McQuillan, Baldor’s vice president of strategy, culture and sustainability. “With this new program, we’re working with two local farms, Hepworth and Satur, to sell their surplus, irregular — but perfectly nutritious and delicious — select produce items to our customers.”

Currently, Hepworth Farms is supplying freshly picked, but aesthetically imperfect, zucchini, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers and tomatoes to the new program. Satur Farms is supplying second-cut kale and a kale spinach mix. Baldor makes this completely safe, usable and locally grown produce available to its network of restaurant owners, top chefs and institutional food suppliers.

“Baldor’s Imperfect Produce Program is a win-win for everyone,” said TJ Murphy, Baldor’s chief executive officer. “Our farming partners will waste less and sell more and by doing this we’ll build a stronger regional food system.”