Sainsbury's joins list of shops taking imperfect crops

Following a season of poor weather, Sainsbury's has become the latest supermarket to announce that it will allow visually unattractive or poorly sized fruit and vegetables onto its shelves.

Brand director Judith Batchelar said: "We've committed to make use of all fruit and vegetables that meet regulation and stand up on taste." Customers are supportive of using fruit even if has blemishes, she added.

British Growers Association chief executive James Hallett described the move as "an extremely sensible step", adding: "It's good that they understand growers' position and want to make the best use of crops. I expect other retailers will do the same."

British Onion Producers Association chairman Robert Oldershaw added that supermarkets have been reducing their specification for some time. "We've been seeing onions that are small or have visual flaws being used in the basic packs. There is a shortage of product, so this was probably inevitable."

English Apples & Pears chief executive Adrian Barlow said: "All multiples are being very responsible in reducing the specification for apples and pears. We're running a campaign called Still Tastes Great to explain that weather-marking on fruit won't affect the taste."

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