Discount retailer Lidl has reached out to fresh produce suppliers across the UK to ensure that their fresh fruits and vegetables baked by intense dry spells will not go to waste.
Lidl officials say they will be helping “identify key crop challenges, and where possible work to accommodate these products within its existing lines.” In stores, Lidl plans to stock shelves with produce that otherwise would not have met size standards but are perfectly good to eat.
“Farmers across the country are facing a big challenge this year due to the extreme weather conditions experienced over the summer months,” Ryan McDonnell, Lidl GB CEO said. “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.”
However, McDonnell said, Lidl will not resort to gimmicks to get customers to purchase the products.
“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,” he said. “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. However, now, more than ever, it’s critical that we and the rest of the sector get behind our suppliers. I would urge other supermarkets to do the same, so that together we can ensure that perfectly good produce isn’t going to waste.”
In addition to the current assistance, Lidl has been working with suppliers on 10 whole chain food waste projects that will be completed by 2025. Lidl was among the first to agree to the NFU Fruit and Veg Pledge in 2016 on sustainability with growers.
Lidl continues to offer 5kg Too Good to Waste boxes for £1.50 for customers, which includes an incredible array of fresh fruits and vegetables. In-store freshness specialists handle the preparation and boxing of the items, which do go fast.