26th February 2010

I am dismayed that the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture has supported the re-introduction of laws which would place restrictions on the size and shape of fruit and vegetables sold in our shops.

The physical dimensions of agricultural produce have absolutely no bearing on their taste or quality. It is ridiculous that we are having this debate less than one year after the EU Commission repealed these absurd regulations.

The price of products released from these restrictions fell by up to 40% last year. In the current economic climate, we cannot risk introducing laws that would push those prices back up and potentially harm consumers, many of whom are struggling in the recession.

A lot of work and money has gone into government campaigns encouraging people to eat healthily. If the price of fresh produce were to rise because the EU forced farmers to throw away vast quantities of their produce for being the ‘wrong’ shape, it could deter shoppers from putting fruit and vegetables in their trolleys.

I believe it is morally wrong for farmers to throw away perfectly good food because of its shape, not to mention being a huge waste of the resources put into growing it.  At a time when many people in the world struggle to put food on their table it is unjustifiably vain for us to bin food that looks ‘odd’.

I sincerely hope that this legislation does not gain approval when it is submitted to full Parliament.
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