British households throw away billions of pounds worth of food every year. According to figures from food waste charity Wrap, households in Britain dispose of £20 billion of food every year, which equates to an enormous 10 million tonnes.
Food waste occurs throughout the whole food supply chain from the production of the food right through to our homes. Although it is a significant problem at the post-retail end of the chain (i.e. household and hospitality sector food waste), it is documented that there is a degree of wastage throughout the chain from farms through distribution, shops, supermarkets and us – the consumer.
With the media picking up on reducing food waste, there has been a consumer drive to buy fruit and vegetables which might otherwise go to waste (wonky veg).. Wonky might not be the normal shape, they might be smaller than usual, or they might simply have an unusual crack in the skin, but they all taste the same, and shoppers love them.
Initiatives retailers use to reduce food waste
Lidl UK has announced that it will introduce ‘Too Good to Waste’ fruit and vegetable boxes, containing items that are no longer considered at their perfect best, but are still perfectly good to eat.
Aldi’s Everyday Essentials range includes wonky veg sold at a cheaper price than Aldi’s other core range fruit and vegetable products.
Morrisons is committed to buying whole crops from farmers across the UK and introduced its Wonky range, including wonky selection boxes.
Tesco’s perfectly Imperfect’ range offers customers the opportunity to buy fruit and veg that was previously outside of its specifications. They are also set to remove ‘best before’ dates on some fruit and veg to further help reduce perfectly edible food being thrown away.
The supermarket introduced its Wonky Veg range two years ago and has since sold 1,000 tonnes of carrots.