Supermarket giant makes big change to fruit and veggies
Aussie supermarket giant Coles has unveiled a clever new plan for how it will sell fruit and veg - and it's aimed at helping farmers affected by drought and bushfires.
The move will see outlets around the country stock their shelves with produce that doesn't look uniformly perfect but still tastes just as good.
The announced today it had made changes to product specifications to ensure growers affected by adverse conditions continued to get the best prices.
"Farmers will always get the best possible price when they can sell their fruit and veg as a fresh whole product," a Coles spokesperson said.
"By working with farmers to expand the range of produce we will purchase for sale to customers, we're ensuring farmers can get the best price and our customers get to keep eating great quality Aussie fruit and veggies."
The Queensland Government has come out in support of the "flawed but adored" initiative saying it hoped shoppers might embrace this unique way of helping Aussie farmers.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said while fruit and veg may be misshapen, has cosmetic blemishes or is smaller than usual, the quality is good.
"We know that many retailers, such as Coles, have been helping drought and bushfire-affected producers by paying higher wholesale prices and accepting produce that may not be to the visual standards customers have become accustomed to expect," Mr Furner said.
"Mangoes may have a few marks, apples may be a little smaller, but it's important for consumers to know that even if fresh produce doesn't look absolutely perfect, it still tastes just as good - and they'll be helping our farmers at a time when they need it most.
"Supporting our farmers is vital to supporting regional jobs and regional economies."
Coles Group CEO Steven Cain said the company had been working closely with farmers to adjust product specifications where necessary.
This was to give them certainty that they could continue to sell their produce; however, the drive needs to be sustainable and requires the support of shoppers.
"Our customers are very keen to support Australian farmers, so we're hoping they join us in looking beyond a few surface imperfections - the beauty of Australian produce is certainly more than skin deep," he said.