SPECIAL blue stickers are prompting consumers to buy bags of potatoes grown by flood-hit farmers in the UK.
The initiative by Tesco and its main supplier, Branston, will come as welcome news to growers in Lincolnshire, Norfolk and parts of Yorkshire badly hit by crop damage after suffering the worst flooding seen since 2012.
The stickers encourage shoppers to buy them despite their less-than-perfect appearance.
Tesco said it will sell packs of potatoes grown in the region with the blue sticker, which reads: “I’m not looking my gorgeous normal self but I still taste great. Buy me and support British farmers affected by the floods.”
It follows a move by the supermarket to widen the specifications set by retailers governing the overall look and quality of fruit and vegetables.
Tesco potato buyer Ben Rowbotham said: “In order to support our British growers in Eastern regions, we have worked collaboratively with Branston to ensure farmers are supported and customers are not facing a shortfall at this key time.
“In Norfolk and Lincolnshire in particular, harvesting conditions have been extremely challenging and growers have worked hard to get as much crop out of the ground as possible.
“This means that some of our premium quality Finest range potatoes won’t look as bright as they normally do. However, they will still taste great and we want to make sure that customers realise quality is more than just skin deep.”
Branston commercial director Richard Clark said as a result of the autumn’s waterlogged fields preventing or delaying harvesting, up to half the crop had been lost and the AHDB had praised the growers' perseverance "in the face of adversity".