Words by Smiley Team
High street budget retailer Lidl GB has pledged to support fruit and veg suppliers across Britain by ensuring "less than perfect" vegetables don't go to waste.
It's aiming to help suppliers tackle the challenge of a growing quantity of stunted crop due to the "hottest and driest weather seen in half a century".
The retailer has written to all of its British fresh produce suppliers to offer support and look for ways to ensure that high quality British crops are being eaten. Lidl will help to prevent perfectly good, quality produce from going to waste because of variations in specifications, for example a different size to what shoppers are typically used to – a.k.a what you probably know as "wonky veg".
“Farmers across the country are facing a big challenge this year due to the extreme weather conditions experienced over the summer months," said Ryan McDonnell, Lidl GB CEO. "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.
“Lidl is built on the foundation of making good food accessible and affordable to everyone, and our fresh produce range is key to achieving this. 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."
Lidl has also committed to funding and implementing 10 whole chain food waste projects by 2025 to work with suppliers to find further solutions to reducing waste and creating additional value in the supply chain.
This builds on Lidl’s initiatives to tackle food waste throughout the supply chain. The discounter was one of the first supermarkets to sign the NFU Fruit and Veg Pledge in 2016, underlining a commitment to help work in a sustainable way with all growers.
SUPPORT: Help fight food waste by supporting Fareshare.