- Tesco becomes the first UK supermarket to start selling perfectly ripe greener satsumas and clementines in order to help cut food waste.
The move has been prompted by recent higher early season temperatures in Spain where these easy peelers are grown which have slowed down the natural process by which the skin of the fruit turns orange.
Despite the skin being slightly green the fruit is still as perfectly sweet and as juicy as you’d find as when they turn orange.
Growers, in order to accelerate the colouring process, have been putting the easy peelers into a ripening room but this extra handling has led to a small amount of fruit being damaged and therefore going to waste.
By taking out this stage shoppers will also be able to benefit from the move as the fruit will have an extra shelf life of up to two days meaning less potential food waste in the home.
Tesco citrus buyer Debbie Lombaard said: “At the moment green easy peelers fall outside of the general quality specifications set by UK supermarkets but Tesco has made the leading move in order to cut down on food waste.
“As a result of this move to take out a handling stage in the journey from farm to fork shoppers will gain extra freshness for their satsumas and clementines.”
The fruit will be sold as ‘Perfectly Ripe Early Season Satsumas’ and will cost the same as orange coloured ones.
Satsumas, and other easy peelers as well as oranges, initially grow as a green fruit but change colour to orange as nights cool.
Over the last few years warmer Spanish temperatures in the early growing season for satsumas in September and October have remained higher into the autumn, delaying the natural process by which the fruit turns orange.
Last month, Tesco announced plans to join forces with suppliers to tackle global food waste.
To help prevent food waste, Tesco has widened other quality specifications to take more of farmers’ crops, most recently with British apples.
Other recent food waste initiatives by Tesco include:
- Perfectly Imperfect
In March 2016 Tesco launched its ‘Perfectly Imperfect’ range of wonky fruit and vegetables – using produce that falls outside of our specifications to offer to customers at lower prices. The range, which includes apples, pears, potatoes, parsnips, cucumbers, courgettes, strawberries and frozen mixed berries, benefits suppliers and has proved exceptionally popular with customers.
- Crop flushes
In spite of our advanced forecasting and ordering systems, at certain times of the year we have to manage crop flushes, or ‘bumper crops’. Earlier this summer there was an unexpected bumper crop of strawberries and we worked with our suppliers to make sure none went to waste by selling them at market-leading prices in kilo boxes.
- Re-sealable salad bags
Earlier this year Tesco launched salad bags with a sliding lock similar to the ones used on cheese bags to keep the contents fresher and stop them from spilling out inside the fridge. Salads are one of the UK’s most wasted foods by households.
- Community Food Connection
Last year we launched Community Food Connection. This is a programme in partnership with food redistribution charity FareShare and social enterprise FoodCloud which connects Tesco stores to local charities and community groups allowing us to redistribute food that’s leftover at the end of the day.