Grocers including Waitrose and Morrisons are to sell “ugly” fruit and vegetables in store as British growers suffer a torrid summer.
Morrisons will sell “knobbly” fresh produce in its value M Savers range after a summer of persistent rain has decimated British crops. Vegetable crops have been in Cornwall and Lincolnshire.
Morrisons said payment terms for growers would not be affected by the changes. It will also lower its specifications for the quality leeks, broccoli and swedes to accept smaller or weather marked produce.
Group commercial director Richard Hodgson said the move would allow customers to buy British food without affecting the taste or cost.
Waitrose is also accepting misshapen fruit and vegetables from British growers.
Waitrose managing director Mark Price wrote in a column due to be published in this week’s Retail Week: “We are flexing our buying specifications to allow fruit and veg growers hit by bad weather to bring to market some produce that wouldn’t normally make it to shelf.
“This may mean a bit more mud on peas or strawberries that are a little smaller than usual, but our customers understand and love the idea.”
The conditions come as Sainsbury’s races to meet a target to double the amount of British food it sells by 2020.