Morrisons will sell ‘ugly’ fruit & veg in its stores this season to help British growers affected by the recent bad weather.
The supermarket said it would work closely with growers and buy entire crops of produce such as potatoes and carrots, with normal-shaped vegetables going into its standard range and “knobbly” produce into its M Savers range.
Additionally, Morrisons will lower its spec for broccoli, leeks and swedes in its standard range by accepting smaller produce, and agree to sell lightly weather-marked courgettes that have been affected by wind and rain.
Payment terms to growers will be unaffected by the changes.
Morrisons said its initiative would allow growers to sell more of their crop and ensure its customers could continue to buy British produce.
“As a result of this terrible weather, we need to make sure that we make more use of British crops,” said Morrisons group commercial director Richard Hodgson.
“We think these measures will ensure customers can buy more British food without affecting the taste or cost.”
Morrisons has started meeting with its apple and pear suppliers to discuss how to ensure good availability of British fruit in its stores when the season in mid-August.
Morrisons’ announcement comes after growers warned the recent poor weather would result in more fruit & veg with skin blemishes and unusual shapes.
Adrian Barlow of English Apples & Pears told The Grocer fruit could end up with more scabs than usual, as growers had found it difficult to spray trees in wet orchards. He said conversations were underway with all retailers to discuss the possibility of specifications being lowered.