Let the rejects in: misshapen fruit and veg to be allowed back on supermarket shelves

Farmers have long been condemning supermarkets for their wasteful rejection of ‘imperfect-looking’ fruit and vegetables.

Wonky pears, blemished apples and wobbly carrots are often thrown away at source because supermarkets refuse to sell them. Typically, only the plumpest, shiniest, smoothest fruits and vegetables make it onto the supermarket shelves.

Often, size, shape and occasional blemishes have no effect on the taste of the product. Still, farmers are forced to throw away a massive 40% of their crops when produce fails to meet cosmetic standards.

Now, that’s all set to change.

After the wettest June ever recorded, the coldest July in a decade and a few disconcerting summer hail-storms, farmers have only been left with misshapen, stunted and damaged crops this year – meaning supermarkets will have no choice but to relax their rules.

The campaigning farmers hope that the temporary change to the ‘nonsensical rules’ will prompt a more permanent change in the way supermarkets regulate natural produce.

If supermarkets continue to reject this year’s crop, many farmers will find themselves completely out of business.

Horticulture adviser Lee Abbey said: “The National Farmers Union has been calling on supermarkets to relax their standards because we do not want perfectly good fruit and vegetables rejected. Common sense should be applied.”

Now, supermarkets including Sainsbury’s, Asda, Tesco and Waitrose have all promised to sell healthy produce this year regardless of what it looks like. Whether or not their pledge will stick for future crops is up to consumers.

Would you buy misshapen produce? And if not – why? Please leave your opinions in the comment box below.

Some nutritionists focus on sourcing food from ethical, sustainable sources. With food sources dwindling, the need to buy local produce is now greater than ever. 

Share this article with a friend
Zoe Thomas

Written by Zoe Thomas

Show comments