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Dublin: 7 °C Monday 18 November, 2019
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Investigation called for into rejection of 'ugly fruit'

Éamon Ó Cúiv has said some supermarkets are rejecting fruit because it is ‘ugly’ – would you buy ugly fruit?

Image: kellinahandbasket via flickr/Creative Commons

WOULD YOU BUY ‘ugly fruit’? According to Fianna Fáil spokesperson on agriculture,  Eamon Ó Cúiv, an investigation is needed into why some supermarkets are rejecting ‘ugly fruit’ from their shop shelves.

Deputy Ó Cúiv said that Minister Simon Coveney needs to investigate claims that supermarkets in Ireland “are rejecting “unmarketable” fruit from farmers despite the fact that the poor weather conditions this summer have led to farmers struggling to harvest their crops”.

He added:

The issue of the treatment of farmers by supermarkets is one of major concern. I have heard that so-called ‘ugly’ food, like irregularly shaped potatoes, is being rejected and this is wholly unacceptable.

The Deputy said that with the terrible weather we have had this summer, “the policy would make a high percentage of produce, as much as 25 per cent, unmarketable which directly affects farmers’ incomes”. “Furthermore, it increases the cost of food as farmers have to get higher prices for their acceptable produce to make ends meet,” he continued.

In 2008, the EU scrapped certain marketing standards that dictated what size and shape fruit and vegetables for sale had to be.

Morally wrong

Deputy Ó Cúiv went as far as to say that this practice by supermarkets of “rejecting good food on aesthetic grounds rather than on nutritional grounds is morally wrong”.

Many farmers fear the supermarket chains and are not willing to confirm how widespread these practises are. I fear it is widespread.
The supermarket chains are also using their muscle to squeeze milk suppliers too and force them into uneconomic production. Milk should not be a loss leader, we need a long-term sustainable price to ensure the Irish dairy sector can function to its capacity.

The TD said he intends on asking the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture to examine these issues as a matter of urgency in the new term.

He also suggested the committee consider establishing a Supermarket Ombudsman to look into the practices of supermarkets and ascertain if they are in breach of Irish and European competition law.

Would you buy ‘ugly fruit’?


Poll Results:

Yes (653)
No (611)
I don't know (139)



Read: Weather causing problems for farmers>

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