Waitrose has been praised by the farming industry for launching a range of Class II “ugly” fruits for use in jam making and cooking.

The fruit, which will be marketed under a Cooks’ Ingredients brand, would normally be rejected by supermarkets for a variety of reasons such as colour, non-harmful skin blemishes, shape and size.

Tom Richardson, Waitrose fruit buyer, said:

“Supermarkets are often criticised for rejecting fruit and vegetables because they don’t look picture perfect.

But this innovative new range will help our customers realise that, while beauty might be skin deep, flavour certainly isn’t.”

The range, which will change with the season, will include strawberries, plums, gooseberries, damsons and apples.

Sarah Pettitt, vice-chairman of the NFU horticulture board, said:

“This decision is good news for British growers, provided that the grower benefits from any costs that are saved.”