Farmers Pick, a Melbourne-based sustainable grocery subscription service specialising in rescuing “imperfect” fruits and vegetables, is making its Queensland debut, with the opening of its new warehouse in Morningside.
Co-founded by Josh Ball and Josh Brooks-Duncan in 2020, the company has rapidly grown and is now expanding its operations to serve over 1.5 million households in the region.
With its Morningside base, opened in August 2023, Farmers Pick will be able to deliver its fresh but aesthetically non-conforming produce to areas spanning from the Gold Coast to Bundaberg.
“Our expansion into Queensland is a huge milestone for the business and a goal we have always wanted to achieve,” Mr Ball said.
“With food waste costing Australians $36.6 billion per annum, we believe that everyone across the country is deserving of convenient and simple solutions to make a difference. We are thrilled to now be able to make a difference to Queenslanders, bringing us one step closer to our mission of building a sustainable food system for all.”
Rescuing Imperfect Produce to Combat Food Waste
Since its inception, Farmers Pick has rescued over 1.5 million kilograms of produce that would have otherwise gone to waste due to not meeting the stringent aesthetic standards set by major supermarket chains and buyers. These are fruits and vegetables deemed “not big enough or too big, blemished, too bendy and not quite perfect looking,” according to Mr Ball.
The idea for Farmers Pick sprouted during the COVID-19 pandemic when the two friends stumbled upon discarded yet delicious fruits and vegetables at a farmer’s market.
They soon discovered that a staggering 1.7 million tonnes of fruit and vegetables, roughly 30 percent of the crop, were left unharvested on Australian farms each year, contributing to the nation’s annual food waste of 7.6 million tonnes.
Making a Mark with a Range of Offerings
In the financial year 2021-22, Farmers Pick generated $2.7 million in revenue, a figure that surged to $7.8 million in 2023. The company’s products are priced at a remarkable 30 per cent lower than supermarket equivalents.
The Farmers Pick subscription service offers fruit and vegetable boxes starting at $36 for a solo box, containing 6 kilograms of fresh, perfectly imperfect produce across 16 to 20 varieties.
Additionally, customers in Queensland will have access to The Farmers Pick Pantry, which offers preserves, alternative kinds of milk, and spreads such as peanut butter.
While Farmers Pick currently employs around 45 staff members, their expansion into Queensland will initially bring on board five new employees. To fund their expansion plans in both Queensland and New South Wales, the co-founders are aiming to raise $1.2 million in capital through crowdsourced funding via the Equitise platform.
A Win for Consumers Amidst Rising Prices
Mr Brooks-Duncan emphasized that as grocery prices continue to rise across Queensland, Farmers Pick’s expansion represents a significant victory for consumers. By rescuing fruits and vegetables that would otherwise go to waste, the company helps households save up to 30 per cent on their weekly grocery bills, offering much-needed relief in an era of soaring food prices.
With its mission to combat food waste and provide affordable, sustainable food options, Farmers Pick’s expansion into Queensland marks a crucial step towards building a more sustainable food system for all Australians.