EU to end Greengrocer Beauty Contest

November 12, 2008 2:14 PM

Curved cucumbers, peculiar peppers and twisted turnips look set to join perfect fruit and vegetables in local shops. Supermarket giant Sainsburys has argued that scrapping rules that prevent misshapen produce reaching the shelves could reduce prices by up to 40%.

EU laws to ensure fruit and vegetables were sold in standard shapes and sizes were put in place following requests from food buyers to assist them in contracts for large-scale purchases. But after calls from groups such as Sainsburys the European Commission has decided to scrap many of the rules to allow the sale of knobbly produce.

Local Euro-MP Graham Watson has welcomed the decision and looks forward to cheaper products for those customers who want to buy this way.

Graham Watson MEP commented:

"This is great news indeed; the Commission have at long last seen sense on this issue. Consumers obviously demand high quality produce that is clean and healthy. But quite why some countries, like France and Germany feel consumers are concerned on how wonky or knobbly fruit and veg appears is absurd.

At a time of global food shortages and rising prices its good to see sensible measures being taken to remove ridiculous regulations. Ultimately Europe needs to concentrate on the real issues that affect the continent's citizens."