Lidl to sell stunted fruit and veg to avoid food waste

Discount retailer Lidl has announced it will be supporting its suppliers by selling stunted fruit and vegetables in a bid to reduce food waste.

The initiative follows an increase in produce growing with varying size and shape specifications due to the UK’s drought which saw the hottest and driest weather in half a century.

Today, 25 August Lidl wrote to its British fresh produce suppliers to offer support and ensure fresh produce isn’t going to waste.

It plans to work closely with these suppliers to identify key crop challenges and try to accommodate these stunted products within existing lines.

READ MORE: An imperfect solution: how supermarkets are pushing ‘wonky’ fruit and veg

“Farmers across the country are facing a big challenge this year due to the extreme weather conditions experienced over the summer months,” Lidl GB CEO, Ryan McDonnell said.

“Whilst the crop coming out may look and feel a bit different to what we’re all used to, it’s still the same great British quality. We therefore want to show support for our suppliers by working with them to find solutions to help.”

He added: “Whilst some supermarkets have chosen to create a separate ‘wonky veg’ label for items that don’t quite fit a certain specification, we don’t believe in a creating a false market.

“Instead, we have always strived to work collaboratively with our suppliers to ensure that we are flexible with variations in specifications at different times of the year.”

The initiative will add to Lidl’s current commitments to tackle food waste throughout its supply chain, including funding and implementing 10 whole chain food waste projects by 2025.

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