Both Waitrose and Lidl have come out this week to announce that they would be relaxing size and shape guidelines for fruit and vegetables following drought-like conditions for farmers.
Supermarket suppliers have been battered by the recent hot and dry weather, lowering yields and causing misshapen growth for fruit and veg.
The National Farmers Union (NFU) called on supermarkets to start accepting more “wonky” products, which may have before been previously deemed unacceptable for sale.
Lidl chief executive Ryan McDonnell said the company would not be labelling items as drought-affected, stating that this created a “false market”.
Meanwhile, the more up-market retailer Waitrose has said it will use the difficult climate for farmers as an opportunity to bolster its ‘A Little Less Than Perfect’ range over the coming months.
It said it will also be diverting millions of units of crooked carrots and other seasonal veg into its own label lines including soups and smoothies.
Many parts of the UK have seen low rainfall this year, with around ten areas in England being declared in a drought.
Fresh Produce Buyer at Waitrose Paul Bidwell said: “Our Little Less Than Perfect range is nothing new – we’ve done it for years, but we constantly look at ways we can support our farmers through challenging conditions and often that means altering our specifications.
“Many of our UK suppliers have managed through the drought thanks to back up water supplies from reservoirs or rain water capture systems so we’ve focused our efforts on those that need the most help. What’s in store may look a bit different at times but it will always represent the same great quality, taste and high standards our customers are used to.”