Frederic Goldkorn


Promoting the beauty of ‘ugly produce’


Taste is not a matter of appearance.”



All over Europe farmers leave produce to rot in the field where it was grown or discard perfectly good fruits and vegetables because of impossible beauty standards. As Frederic is keen on saying, Taste is not a matter of appearance.” Inspired by Valentin Thurn’s 2011 documentary ‘Taste the Waste’, Frederic and Querfeld help farmers market their so-called “ugly” fruits and veg.

The initiative began with just Frederic driving to the organic farms of Brandenburg picking up produce with a friend’s van and delivering to restaurants in Berlin. Frederic’s idea caught on and developed into the concept that lies behind Querfeld, which today connects farmers throughout Europe to kitchens across Germany - kitchens in small kindergartens and those in international institutions such as the European Central Bank.

With many such kitchens closed during successive COVID-19 lockdowns, Querfeld’s focus necessarily shifted. Frederic, for example, collaborated with cargo bike logistics companies to set up a distribution system utilizing pick-up stations in and around Berlin. People could purchase a subscription online and source fruit and vegetables directly from a farm without travelling or standing in line at a supermarket. The approach changed distribution mechanisms and the perception of produce “beauty standards” with each delivery.

Making an impact in the field of fruits and vegetable delivery is a challenge - and speed is key, says Frederic. In most cases, large quantities of unwanted products must be distributed quickly. When faced with 800 kilograms of “rejected” watermelons, Frederic decided to make use of the reach of Querfeld’s social media channels; he held a ‘Save the Melon’ virtual event from the comfort of the Querfeld office and all melons were saved within days.

Since its inception, Querfeld has saved more than 1.000 tons of produce and Frederic continuously pushes for further transition to sustainable agricultural practices. He hopes that the current interest in healthy living and sustainable food practices among many consumers will fuel the creation of a fairer and sustainable food supply chain - connecting farmers to consumers.