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Perfectly Imperfect 'wonky' Pears saves 200 tonnes of wasted food

John Worth

Master of Pears
Welwyn Garden City

26 Oct 2016

Our Master of Pears has been working with Tesco producers to take more of the pear crop this season to reduce food waste on farms.

British apples and pears are best in season, in October. It’s the time where I’m working closely with the growers and buyers to source the best quality fruit for customers.

To support our growers, I want to take as much of their crop as possible without compromising on quality. I also want to help Tesco in its goal to reduce food waste. So I’ve been reviewing and broadening our specifications, the shapes and sizes we’re looking for, on apples and pears.

I’ve built strong relationships with our growers so they’ve the confidence to say when there are problems with their crop. Tesco won’t walk away from a supplier. I’ll work with them to resolve crop issues and avoid wasting fruit. If fruit is good to eat, we’ll take it and find a way to offer it to our customers. I don’t want to see fruit going to waste so we’ll work together to find a way to use all the edible crop.

Perfectly Imperfect 'wonky' Pears

A good example is our new Perfectly Imperfect Pears. By adapting our specifications to embrace the ‘wonky’ ones, we’re now able to take a further 200 tonnes of pears a year that might otherwise have gone to waste. By using smaller or misshapen pears we've created a bag of pears using previously rejected fruit. They taste great, and are great value – they might just look a bit ugly!

We’re also launching our Rosedene Farms Pears this season – another way we’re taking more of the crop. By allowing smaller fruit into this range, we're supporting our growers directly.

A total of 450 tonnes of pears will be sold in our stores this year. Considering that a blue whale is approximately 170 tonnes, that’s a lot of extra pears we’re bringing to our customers!

Perfectly Imperfect Apples

We’re also building on the success of our Perfectly Imperfect Apples. We now take 97% of fruit from Tesco dedicated growers. The other 3% goes for juicing. Tesco is buying 100% of the edible apple crop from our growers. This enables more of our growers to get a premium price for their produce, and helps reduce food waste. It’s a win-win situation for all.

3,000 extra tonnes of apples are now being eaten by our customers because of this. Laid end-to-end that’s enough apples to travel around the M25 twice.

Looking for new ways to save good food

We’re not stopping there. I’m constantly looking for new ways to take all edible fruit from our growers, to help prevent food being wasted and to support our UK growers. We have poached apples and pears launching this month. Also, working with our suppliers Avalon Produce & Simply Fruit, previously out of specification apples will go into mixed snack packs such as apple and grapes. I’ve been able to take edible but previously rejected fruit, to produce other fantastic Tesco products.

Fruit Specifications exist to maintain the highest standard of British produce. I've ensured that our grower relationships are fluid and adaptable. As long as the fruit delivers the quality that our customers are asking for, I can now be flexible on size and shape. It’s all about being in the fields, tasting, talking and monitoring. Working together to support British growers in reducing food waste. 

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