Tesco says selling misshapen fruit and veg has saved 50 million packs of food

·2-min read
 (ALEKSEI BEZRUKOV/iStock)
(ALEKSEI BEZRUKOV/iStock)

Tesco’s misshapen fruit and vegetable range has saved over 50 million packs of food over the past five years, the supermarket says.

The Perfectly Imperfect scheme sees wonky fruit and vegetables, which might otherwise go to waste, sold to customers, usually for a lower price.

The supermarket adds that since the launch of the scheme in 2016, it has sold 44,000 tonnes of the Perfectly Imperfect range.

Tesco’s head of food waste reduction, Tony McElroy, said: “Selling wonky fruit and veg is one way Tesco ensures the food we grow ends up feeding people, but taking steps to tackle food waste is something we can all do.

“This can simply mean writing a list and planning meals before going to the shops, storing things correctly or looking again at misshapen food and eating it with the knowledge it’s just as good as the conventionally shaped alternative.”

Perfectly Imperfect is part of a wider food waste scheme at Tesco, which also includes a partnership with food distribution charity, FareShare.

When Perfectly Imperfect was launched, it sold just two types of vegetables: potatoes and parsnips.

But the range has now expanded to include strawberries, carrots, lettuce, apples and cauliflower, and it changes seasonally depending on what is more readily available.

McElroy added: “With COP26 just days away and people increasingly thinking about ways they can make a difference, it’s the perfect time to talk about food waste.”

Last year, Tesco said it would “take action” to meet the UN’s sustainable development goal to halve global food waste by 2030.

In September this year, the supermarket introduced refillable, zero-waste versions of products into some of its England stores.

This means that customers can now buy everyday products like washing up liquid in sustainable, reusable packaging that can be cleaned and refilled in-store.

Ken Murphy, chief executive of Tesco Group, said at the time: “We are determined to tackle plastic waste and one of the ways we can help is by improving reuse options available to customers.

“With 88 everyday products available, we’re giving customers a wide range of options and we’ll learn as much as we can from this to inform our future packaging plans.”

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