Ugly fruit and veg have their day
Over 300,000 tonnes of “ugly” British fruit and vegetables are thought to have appeared on supermarket shelves this year after retailers relaxed specifications in response to a difficult growing season.
According to the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), growers across the country have welcomed the decision by major supermarkets to accept imperfect, weather-marked produce including potatoes, parsnips, sprouts, swedes and apples.
So far concessions made include:
- An early move by Waitrose to accept shorter carrots, thinner parsnips and smaller strawberries.
- A decision by Morrisons to incorporate smaller than usual versions of broccoli, leeks, sprouts, swedes, apples and pears into its value ranges.
- A commitment from Sainsbury’s to use all fruit and veg that meets regulations and stands up on taste.
Earlier this year, the NFU called on retailers to adopt a more realistic approach to sourcing “out of spec” fruit and veg in its Catalyst for Change report, to prevent thousands of tonnes of perfectly edible fruit and vegetables being wasted every year and to reduce imports.