// Waitrose relaxes vegetable size & shape guidelines
// The move aims to help farmers through the Covid-19 pandemic as well as reduce food waste
// Farms have also been given more flexibility regarding skin blemishes on carrots & parsnips
Waitrose has announced it will relax its size and shape guidelines for the carrots, parsnips and asparagus it buys from UK farmers.
The move it to further help the retailer’s food producers through the Covid-19 pandemic as well as reduce food waste.
Waitrose added that some extra trimming and finishing details have also been removed to help suppliers maintain social distancing on production and packing lines.
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Farms supplying Waitrose stores with carrots and parsnips have also been given more flexibility regarding skin blemishes.
Meanwhile, the size range for asparagus has been expanded to include sizes of product that would normally be used in processing and catering.
The news comes after Waitrose’s sales of core vegetables increased by 31 per cent year-on-year during the lockdown, thanks to more people cooking while stuck at home.
“We are committed to supporting our farmers through a really difficult time,” Waitrose fresh produce technical manager Amanda Frisby said.
“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.”