Waitrose relaxes vegetable size and shape guidelines to help farmers
Waitrose has relaxed its size and shape guidelines for the carrots, parsnips and asparagus it buys from UK farmers as it looks to help them through the Covid-19 crisis by ensuring that less produce goes to waste.
Some extra trimming and finishing details have also been removed to help suppliers maintain social distancing on production and packing lines.
Waitrose’s sales of core vegetables have increased by 31% year-on-year during lockdown which the supermarket has attributed to more people cooking from scratch while stuck at home.
Farms supplying Waitrose with carrots and parsnips have also been given more flexibility regarding skin blemishes. The supermarket is taking more ‘ugly’ skinned carrots and parsnips which would previously have been destined for the food service sector.
In addition, the size range for British asparagus has been expanded to include sizes of product that would normally be used in processing and catering.
Amanda Frisby, fresh produce technical manager at Waitrose, said: “We are committed to supporting our farmers through a really difficult time. By changing and being flexible with our specifications it has meant we have minimised wastage of fantastic British produce and it has allowed us to take on even more veg for our customers. We keep reviewing specific specifications on all of our fresh produce lines to make sure we are getting the maximum crop available and working with our farmers to figure out new ways of working in these challenging circumstances.”
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