Rob Gibson SNP MSP for Highlands and Islands has sought Scottish Government backing to ensure the EU Commission relaxes regulation that dictates shape, size and appearance of many fruit and vegetables produced across the continent.
He was speaking after a Highland Council-led Conference on Local Food in the Highlands.
Mr Gibson said,
"Tough regulations have led to 20 percent of fruit and vegetables produced in the UK going to waste. In credit crunch times taste is more important than shape.
"I have asked the Scottish Rural Affairs Minister Richard Lochhead to lobby the EU Commission on this issue.
It has been reported that the EU are to discuss relaxing shape, size and appearance regulations on the 12th of November. If the go-ahead is given the changes would come into force until next July.
Mr Gibson says that the time frame is too long...
"Producers and consumers deserve a speedier relaxation as the price of food hits pockets hard in this credit crunch. Tasty fruit and vegetables should not be wasted.
"As we develop a National Scottish Food Policy, Highland producers and consumers will play a key part. I applaud the Highland Council conference and seek EU support to relax unnecessarily strict regulations that create discards in fresh fruit and veg. The current regualtions are like the ones which accounts for the discards of perfectly edible fish which are thrown back dead after our hard pressed fisherman catch them. Smart regulation can increase our food supply in each case. "