Tesco to put ‘ugly’ fruit and veg on special offer to cut waste



Supermarket chain Tesco is planning to sell misshapen or ugly fruit and vegetables at a discounted price in order to educate customers that they are still edible.

The group’s food sourcing director Matt Simister said that Britons generally pick items that look aesthetically faultless, while leaving the relatively ‘ugly’ pieces behind that therefore go to waste.

But in order to educate the public to the fact that good food does not have to look perfect, Tesco is considering putting the uglier bits on special offer.

We can put more misshapen products through our value range at better prices; we’ve been doing that for years. There are opportunities to do more”, Simister said.

It’s less easy to be flexible with the standard ranges, but we can be more flexible with the product that flushes through the stores at a good price for customers.”

Tesco pledged in May to reduce food waste in shops and in its supply chain, but revealed a few months later that a large portion of its food was still thrown away, especially at the consumption stage.

The news follows a report released in September by Global Food Security (GFS) in the UK, which revealed that up to 40% of edible food never even arrives in shops because of its apparent ‘ugliness’.

Meanwhile, figures released earlier this year suggested that the world was wasting between 30-50% of global food.

Another study from November said that food waste should be used to create electricity, for instance through anaerobic digestion, or to support agriculture.

Further reading:

Tesco unveils extent of grocery food waste

Tesco to take ‘leading role’ in reducing food waste

World wasting up to half of global food

Up to 40% of food wasted because of ‘ugliness’

The Guide to Sustainable Spending 2013


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