We pay farmers approximately 50-70% of what they would receive for their #1 grade produce. This is multiple times what they would normally get for #2 produce, as it most commonly would either go to landfill, animal feed, be tilled back into the field, or in some rare cases, juicers. The primary reason we can’t disclose the exact price we pay each farmer for each commodity is to protect the farmers’ privacy and their businesses. If we disclosed what we pay them for their ugly and surplus produce, they’d be at risk of their other buyers (like big grocery stores) wanting lower prices as well--even on their #1 products. In short, we don’t disclose prices because farmers don’t want us to disclose prices. This would create a pricing “race to the bottom” that would hurt farmers in the long run. Disclosing our prices would also hurt Imperfect and make our mission to improve the food system unsustainable financially. We’re still a small fish in the grocery business and if all of our pricing were public, then the larger fish could drive us out of business. Keeping a grower’s price in confidence is standard for the produce world -- organic or conventional, ugly or #1 grade.
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