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Lidl GB commits to buying fruit and vegetables affected by drought

Last week, we featured McDonald's 'La hamburguesa que no pudo ser' campaign, which supports Spanish farmers stricken by wildfires by selling the hamburger that couldn't be. Now, Lidl GB has announced that it's dropping its usual produce specifications in light of historic drought.

The supermarket chain will accept fruit and vegetables that look and feel different from what shoppers are used to, caused by crops having suffered record high temperatures and low rainfall.

By being more flexible, Lidl is helping food from going to waste while supporting growers in one of the toughest years they've lived through. As the company's CEO Ryan McDonnell stated: "It’s critical that we and the rest of the sector get behind our suppliers. 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.”

Trend bite

Across the world, countries are struggling with a brutal combination of record heat waves and scant precipitation. In China, the Yangtze River has reached its lowest level since at least 1865, while northern Italy experienced its worst drought in 70 years.

As global heating and extreme weather events continue to pick up speed, food purveyors like Lidl and McDonald's play a key role both in keeping their produce suppliers afloat and in educating consumers about weather-related fluctuations in the size and quality of fruit and vegetables. If done consistently and persuasively, consumers might actually come to accept cosmetically imperfect produce as perfectly normal, saving tons of food from going to waste without resorting to separate wonky/ugly/misfit labels.

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