Waitrose takes steps to support fresh produce suppliers suffering through the heat wave

Waitrose is helping out British farmers impacted by the drought by pledging to take all shapes and sizes of fruits and vegetables over the coming months.

The supermarket will relax size and shape guidelines for new season potatoes, carrots,strawberries, apples, pears and peppers – all forming part of a revamped lineup in its pioneering ‘A Little Less Than Perfect’ range.Waitrose will also divert millions of units of wonky carrots and other misshapen vegetables into its own label soups,ready meals,smoothies – ensuring that no food that’s good to eat is wasted.

Paul Bidwell, Fresh Produce Buyer atWaitrose, comments:“Our Little Less Than Perfect range is nothing new – we’ve done it for years, but we constantly look at ways we can support our farmers through challenging conditions and often that means altering our specifications.

“Many of our UK suppliers have managed through the drought thanks to back up water supplies from reservoirs or rain water capture systems so we’ve focused our efforts on those that need the most help.What’s in store may look a bit different at times but it will always represent the same great quality, taste and high standards our customers are used to.”

These specification changes are one of the ongoing steps we take to help manage food waste, having
long supported our farmers by buying as much of their crop as possible.

We first introduced our‘A Little Less Than Perfect’ concept more than fifteen years ago starting
with weather blemished apples – which committed to support growers through extreme weather
conditions by trying to get as much produce as possible to market.

Last year, they diverted food surplus equivalent to 4 million meals to the FareShare network with all
food waste (not good to eat food) used as an energy source.

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