Url: https://www.johnlewispartnership.media/news/waitrose/25082022/waitrose-takes-steps-to-support-fresh-produce-suppliers-suffering-through-the-heat-wave

Waitrose takes steps to support fresh produce suppliers suffering through the heat wave

  • Waitrose bolsters its ‘A Little Less Than Perfect’ range, relaxing size and shape guidelines for key fruit and veg lines
  • The measures have been taken to support farmers impacted worst by drought conditions this summer
  • The efforts will reduce food waste and offer even more fruit & veg to customers at affordable prices

Waitrose is helping out British farmers impacted by the drought by pledging to take all shapes and sizes of fruits and vegetables over the coming months.

The supermarket will relax size and shape guidelines for new season potatoes, carrots, strawberries, apples, pears and peppers - all forming part of a revamped lineup in its pioneering ‘A Little Less Than Perfect’ range. Waitrose will also divert millions of units of wonky carrots and other misshapen vegetables into its own label soups, ready meals, smoothies - ensuring that no food that’s good to eat is wasted.

WR Farmer

Helping farmers

Paul Bidwell, Fresh Produce Buyer at Waitrose, said: “Our Little Less Than Perfect range is nothing new - we’ve done it for years, but we constantly look at ways we can support our farmers through challenging conditions and often that means altering our specifications.

“Many of our UK suppliers have managed through the drought thanks to back up water supplies from reservoirs or rain water capture systems so we’ve focused our efforts on those that need the most help. What’s in store may look a bit different at times but it will always represent the same great quality, taste and high standards our customers are used to.”

These specification changes are one of the ongoing steps we take to help manage food waste, having long supported our farmers by buying as much of their crop as possible.

We first introduced our ‘A Little Less Than Perfect’ concept more than fifteen years ago starting with weather blemished apples - which committed to support growers through extreme weather conditions by trying to get as much produce as possible to market.

Last year, we diverted food surplus equivalent to 4 million meals to the FareShare network with all food waste (not good to eat food) used as an energy source.

Contact Details:

For more information please contact:
Jasmine Barker - [email protected]

About the John Lewis Partnership 
The John Lewis Partnership owns and operates two of Britain's best-loved retail brands - John Lewis and Waitrose. Started as a radical experiment over a century ago, the Partnership is now the largest employee-owned business in the UK, with over 80,000 employees who are all Partners in the business. The Partnership is purpose-driven, existing to create a fairer and more sustainable future for our Partners, customers, suppliers and communities. Our Purpose not only inspires our principles, drives our decisions and acts as our guide to be a force for good, it steers us to do things differently and better - all in service of creating a happier world for everyone and everything we touch.


Waitrose & Partners has 331 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 59 convenience branches, 27 shops at Welcome Break locations, and Waitrose.com - its fast-growing online shopping business, consistently rated highly by independent research. The retailer combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop - dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service. As part of an employee-owned business, all Partners have a say in how the business is run.