Tesco has started selling “green” satsumas in an effort to cut down on food waste.
Britain’s most popular supermarket will also stock green clementines, and says the fruit is perfectly ripe and sweet – even though it’s not orange in colour.
Tesco says that selling the fruit when it is green will mean an extra two days’ shelf life – hopefully cutting down on food that goes unsold and is wasted.
The green colour is a result of higher early season temperatures in Spain that has slowed the natural process by which the skin turns orange.
Debbie Lombard, Tesco citrus buyer, said: “At the moment, green easy peelers fall outside of the general quality specifications set by UK supermarkets but Tesco has made the leading move in order to cut down on food waste.
“As a result of this move to take out a handling stage in the journey from farm to fork shoppers will gain extra freshness for their satsumas and clementines.”
Green satsumas are already in store and the green clementines will follow in the coming weeks, in time for the Christmas season when sales usually peak.
Tesco’s “perfectly ripe early season satsumas” will be sold in a 600g net bag and cost the same (£1) as orange-coloured ones.
The chain sells nearly 15m 600g bags of satsumas and 75m bags of clementines each year.
Oranges, clementines and satsumas need cool nights to turn their skins from green to orange as they grow.
But the temperature in the Valencia region of Spain has been 3C degrees higher than the long-term average for the past few years, hampering the natural ripening process.