Ugly fruit gets a reprieve from Europe

Date Published: 18/11/2008

‘Ugly’ fruit and veg could be in for a new lease of life on our shelves as the EU moves towards partially removing  one its stupidest dictats!

The BBC reports that Europe is on the verge of scrapping at least some of the idiocy that prescribed what fruit and vegetables could look like.
"Richie the Litchi"
In times of huge waste and growing food costs, it’s madness to be throwing away perfectly edible produce simply because it doesn’t conform to a bureaucratic norm. It certain sits better with organic ideals to make the best use of everything, regardless of whether it would win a beauty pageant!

The report says that these rules are likely to be abolished for 26 types of products, which are: apricots, artichokes, asparagus, aubergines, avocadoes, beans, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflowers, cherries, courgettes, cucumbers, cultivated mushrooms, garlic, hazelnuts in shell, headed cabbage, leeks, melons, onions, peas, plums, ribbed celery, spinach, walnuts in shell, water melons and witloof/chicory.

Unfortunately that still leaves ten types that will remain regulated and they make up 75 per cent of the market. Doh!

Our Chief Executive, Richard, on hearing this news lamented about the agony of seeing perfectly good grub being harshly downgraded in his days as a commercial grower. And many of us in the UK will recall the outcry over rules which laid down the shape of a banana, so a mild return of common sense is going to be welcome.

Of course, as Richard pointed out, a lot is going to depend on whether the retailers will change their own requirements to accept previously outcast produce – and that depends on whether shoppers demand it…