WONKY VEGETABLES ARE HITTING SHELVES

The selling of "wonky" vegetables is becoming increasingly popular in the UK with supermarket chain Lidl the latest store to start selling miss-shaped or slightly damaged vegetables.

The new initiative called ‘Too Good To Waste’ allows vegetables that are not usually selected for purchase at regular supermarkets to be collected in 5kg boxes and then sold to customers for the discounted price of just £1.50 (NZD $2.90). The scheme will also see Lidl reducing the amount of fresh produce coming close to its use by date in an effort to sell it.

Too Good To Waste is currently being trialled in 122 of Lidl's budget supermarkets. The programme will hopefully result in the supermarket saving over 10,000 tonnes of food waste. The size of the UK’s annual food waste is estimated to be around 10 million tonnes, costing the retail and wholesale food market an estimated £800 pounds per year.

Lidl’s food waste scheme follows supermarkets Aldi, Tesco, Morrisons and Asada, who have all implemented similar bargain selling vegetable schemes. With Morrison’s supermarket claiming that the scheme had contributed to an increase in the supermarkets overall sales.

Early this year food waste charity, Feedback published a report specifying all of the ways supermarkets contribute to higher levels of food waste. Some of these were; not marketing seasonal produce correctly, last-minute changes to orders, cosmetic specifications, and using “Best Before” dates instead of “Use By” labels. The charity suggested that supermarkets should relax aesthetic specifications and implement ‘whole crop purchasing’ in a bid to reduce food waste in the grocery industry.