April 19, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Ralphs Grocery Company’s Six-Year Journey to End Hunger and Waste

Partnership with The Ugly Company Takes Aim at Food Waste 

By Dolores Quintana

Ralphs Grocery Company marked six years of dedicated efforts to reduce hunger and excess foodstuffs going unused in the communities it serves with an event on September 28 at the Westwood Ralphs Fresh Fare. 

In the past year, Ralphs and Food 4 Less/Foods Co. stores collectively donated a remarkable 22,700,000 meals and significantly reduced waste by reusing, recycling, or composting 81% of their materials.

In pursuit of a more sustainable future, Ralphs is joining forces with The Ugly Company, a local farmer-led producer of upcycled dried fruit snacks based in Farmersville, CA. The partnership aims to address the pressing issues of food waste and hunger in Southern California.

Salvador Ramirez, Corporate Affairs Manager at Ralphs and Food 4 Less/Foods Co., emphasized the importance of this initiative, saying, “More than 38 percent of the food produced in the U.S. each year goes unconsumed, while one in five Californians struggle with hunger. That just doesn’t make sense. As our community’s neighborhood grocer, we are committed to doing something about it and are excited to welcome The Ugly Company to our stores to further our impact in cutting waste.”

The Ugly Company specializes in preventing food waste by transforming imperfect fruit into all-natural, single-ingredient dried fruit snacks. In 2022 alone, the company prevented 2.17 million pounds of fruit from going to waste and has already rescued 3.24 million pounds of food waste this year.

Now, shoppers at 184 Ralphs stores across Southern California can enjoy The Ugly Company’s upcycled cherries, peaches, nectarines, and apricots, contributing to a future with less hunger and waste.

Ben Moore, Founder and CEO of The Ugly Company, expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership, stating, “The partnership with Ralphs aligns perfectly with our shared mission to create a more sustainable food system. By working together, we can make a significant impact in minimizing waste while supporting our local farmers in the Central Valley. We’re excited to bring our brand to a wider audience of shoppers!”

To further their commitment to sustainability and waste reduction, The Ugly Company and Ralphs jointly donated $5000 to Californians Against Waste, a non-profit organization dedicated to pollution reduction, waste reduction, increased recycling, and environmental protection.

Kroger’s Go Fresh & Local Supplier Accelerator program, launched in 2021 to spotlight small growers and retailers in the grocery industry, played a pivotal role in this partnership.

Out of over 1,600 supplier applications to the 2022 program, The Ugly Company emerged as one of the five standout small businesses to be named the 2022 Go Fresh & Local Accelerator Winner.

For more information about Kroger’s Go Fresh & Local Accelerator program, please visit https://www.thekrogerco.com/gofreshlocal/.

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