Lidl to take stunted crops to help farmers affected by drought
Lidl is to support its fresh fruit and vegetable suppliers by taking crops impacted by this summer’s drought conditions across the UK.
The supermarket said it will be working closely with suppliers to identify key crop challenges and, where possible, work to accommodate stunted crops within its existing lines as it looks to prevent “perfectly good, quality produce” from going to waste.
Ryan McDonnell, Lidl GB chief executive, explained: “Farmers across the country are facing a big challenge this year due to the extreme weather conditions experienced over the summer months. 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 to help.”
He added: “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. 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.”
The supermarket is calling on other retailers to follow its move in a bid to support the sector.
Lidl has also committed to funding and implementing ten whole chain food waste projects by 2025 in which it will work with suppliers to find further solutions to reducing waste and creating additional value in the supply chain.
The supermarket has also been offering its customers its Too Good to Waste boxes since 2019 as part its strategy to tackle in-store food waste. Priced at £1.50 for around 5kg of goods, the boxes contain fruit and vegetables from the store shelves that would have otherwise been thrown away but are still good to eat.