Lidl to take ‘stunted’ fruit and vegetables to help farmers through drought

Lidl has called on other supermarkets to follow suit. Credit: PA

Lidl says it will sell “stunted” fruit and vegetables affected by the drought to support farmers and ensure food does not go to waste.

The discount supermarket chain said it wrote to its British fresh produce suppliers in the face of the record heat and the driest summer for half a century to ask how it could help.

Where possible, it will now accommodate products hit by the drought, including those which are a different size than shoppers are used to.

Lidl GB’s chief executive Ryan McDonnell called on other supermarkets to follow suit.

He said: “Farmers across the country are facing a big challenge this year due to the extreme weather conditions experienced over the summer months."

“Whilst the crop coming out may look and feel a bit different to what we’re all used to, it’s still the same great British quality."

“We therefore want to show support for our suppliers by working with them to find solutions to help.”

He said the company has always tried to work with suppliers to be flexible with variations in specifications at different times of the year, but said that now more than ever it is “critical” that Lidl and the rest of the sector get behind farmers.

He added: “That’s why we have written to all of our British fresh produce suppliers and I would urge other supermarkets to do the same, so that together we can ensure that perfectly good produce isn’t going to waste.”

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