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Local food campaigners call on supermarkets to put ‘taste before beauty’!

news release

On Sunday 9th October, Manchester Friends of the Earth food campaigners will be asking visitors to the Manchester Food and Drink Festival [1] to take the ‘taste before beauty’ challenge by trying a variety of apples and deciding which ones are the tastiest.  The ‘taste before beauty’ campaign aims to highlight the avoidable food waste that is created when supermarkets reject large amounts of food because it is not cosmetically perfect.

Fruit and vegetables grown in the UK are governed by European Union food regulations [2] but supermarkets often require producers to meet even higher cosmetic perfection standards, which leads to even more perfectly edible food being ‘graded out’.

The Manchester Friends of the Earth ‘taste before beauty’ campaign will highlight the huge amount of perfectly edible food that is being wasted and ask people to tell their supermarket that, given the choice, they would be happy to buy this food as long as it tastes good.

The ‘taste before beauty’ campaign is asking people to:

* Send a postcard to their local supermarket chain telling them not to reject perfectly good food.

* Shop at local independent grocers where less stringent cosmetic grading processes will have been used.

* Sign up to a box scheme which supports local growers, as the amount of food wasted by small scale producers working with box schemes is far lower than the more highly packaged food offered in supermarkets.

* Buy fresh fruit and vegetables from a local farmers’ market, as direct sales to customers do not require producers to ‘grade out’ food produce.

Debbie Ellen from the Manchester Friends of the Earth food campaign said:

“Supermarket chains say that they are responding to what their customers want. Join our campaign to ask them to put taste before beauty by taking the ‘taste before beauty’ challenge in Albert Square on Sunday.”

Photo opportunity: 11am–3pm, Sunday 9th October, Manchester Friends of the Earth stall in the Kids Food Feast area, Albert Square.

ENDS

CONTACTS FOR COMMENTS

Debbie Ellen, Manchester Friends of the Earth food campaigner.  Mobile: 07719 625725

Colette Humphrey, Manchester Friends of the Earth co-ordinator.  Mobile: 07754 042716

Notes to Editors:

[1] For more details of the Manchester Food and Drink Festival.

[2] A new EU Regulation (543/2011 ) on marketing standards for fresh fruit and vegetables came into effect  from 22 June 2011. This regulation supersedes EC Regulation 1580/2007.  Summary of these regulations.

Full details of the new regulations are also available for download.

[3] ‘Taste before Beauty’ campaign website

[4] Manchester Friends of the Earth is an award-winning environmental campaign group, raising awareness and lobbying for policy changes at a local, regional, national and international level. The group consists entirely of volunteers, and its campaigns are funded by membership fees and individual donations.  Up-to-date information is available on the group’s website: www.manchesterfoe.org.uk  Manchester Friends of the Earth is a Licensed Local Group of Friends of the Earth, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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