Store managers and consumers need more education about fresh produce, Sainsbury's says.

The retailer claims it sells more fresh produce per customer than competitors, and is launching initiatives to keep it that way.

Staff in the fresh produce sections of all 451 supermarket-formats will shortly attend a roadshow on fruit, veg and flowers that aims to improve merchandising, availability and price clarity.

Employees will be told about Fairtrade produce and Farm Promise - Sainsbury's name for projects where it works with farmers, currently in organic milk and apples. Improving health and nutrition labelling, like 5-a-day, is a priority. And the healthiness of produce will figure.

"The produce roadshows are a great opportunity to excite colleagues," said fruit buyer Victoria Smith.

They will be held on 12 dates across the country, and will set out again next summer to spread the word about summer fruit.

The drive ties in with Sainsbury's successful Try Something New Today campaign, which is being used to introduce shoppers to unfamiliar fruit and veg.

Exotic fruit has been singled out for special attention in a separate campaign that sees the retailer trying to spice up its offer. "It is the smallest produce category, but has the biggest growth," JS said. Sales rose 30% last year, against market growth of 16%.

Information is being sent to all stores on the new shelf-ready packaging used on all exotics, alongside green shelf stickers to badge up the fixture. Stickers are also going on to the side of boxes with preparation advice for shoppers.

The category now has 25 lines, with mango the best seller. There are four different varieties, including value and Fairtrade, which has grown 200% in the past year, albeit from a low base.

Papaya is the number two exotic, growing 20% a year. Pomegranate is also selling well. Sainsbury's is selling 35,000 each week - up 80% on last year.