Green grocers not sour over fruit and vegie policy

HAVE you ever bitten into a piece of fruit to find that it was rotten, but been too scared to take it back to the shop where you bought it?

Consumers will be pleased to know there are some circumstances where you can return fruit and vegetables.

Owner of Farmer Charlies Lismore, Selina Edmonds said she would issue a refund on fruit and vegetables if a customer was unhappy with the quality of the product.

However with taste being so personal Mrs Edmonds said refunds were assessed on a case-by-case basis.

"Some people don't like fruit being a bit tart, and in those circumstances we will taste the fruit as well," she said.

Appearance is a different matter. Mrs Edmonds advises buyers fruit and vegetables won't always look like they do in the magazines.

"Produce is going to have marks," she said.

"It's very rare to find a perfect fruit, as it's grown in the elements."

Tropicana fruit shop owner Alex Coronakes is a third generation green grocer.

He said he rarely has his produce returned because he prides himself on having the best quality.

"Good stone fruit is expensive, and in this industry if you buy the best stuff it costs more money," Mr Coronakes said.

Unfortunately, it seems specialty green grocers like Mr Coronakes who buy hand-picked beans or the best cherries of the bunch may be dying out, with the growing trend of supermarkets and seconds stores selling bulk produce.

"We don't have the green grocers that we used to have," Mr Coronakes said.

"In the1960s there were eight of us selling fruit and vegetables in town."

And even though the big supermarkets don't have the same quality or friendly service as the smaller stores, customers can be assured there is also level of redress if they buy fruit and vegetables and they aren't as they expect.

A Woolworths spokeswoman said Woolworths had a "fresh or free guarantee".

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