Ocado has vowed to take up the fight against food waste by selling more misshapen fruit and veg.
The online grocer said it was in the process of broadening its quality specs for fresh produce to cut down on waste created when retailers reject fruit and veg failing to meet strict criteria on size and shape.
“We know it’s taste and quality that count, so as long as we can keep these at a high standard, we’ll happily accept more ‘nobbly ones’,” said co-founder Jason Gissing.
The wet weather last year prompted some retailers to change specs to ensure availability and so growers were still able to sell produce. For example, Morrisons said it would lower its spec for the size of broccoli, leeks and swedes and accept lightly weather-marked courgettes.
Ocado said its move was driven more by concerns about waste than the weather. It claimed it already had the lowest food wastage of any retailer in the world, at 0.3% of sales. Being an online retailer and not having produce handled by customers in shops gave it an advantage in that regard, it said, adding any food too close to its use-by date was redistributed via its company shop and food charities.