England Co-op Reducing Food Waste by Selling Food Past Best-Before Date
East of England Co-op has instigated a food waste clampdown with a scheme that allows shoppers to purchase food items past their best-before date.
Customers at the independent retailer’s 125 stores will be able to buy tinned goods and dried foods for as little as 10 pence. These items use best-before date labelling, which refers to quality rather than safety.
The new scheme follows a successful three-month trial in 14 Co-op stores which reportedly saw the 10 pence products fly off the shelves within hours.
East of England Co-op’s joint chief executive Roger Grosvenor told the Grocer that the campaign would help customers save money and reduce the retailer’s environmental impact.
“This is not a money-making exercise, but a sensible move to reduce food waste and keep edible food in the food chain,” Grosvenor said.
He added: “The vast majority of our customers understand they are fine to eat and appreciate the opportunity to make a significant saving.”
The retailer estimates the initiative will prevent at least 50,000 products a year being thrown away.
The price drops will be accompanied by an in-store campaign that urge customers ‘don’t be a binner, have it for dinner’. East of England Co-op has also launched a new ‘reduced to clear’ policy which will increase the amount of discounts for products nearing their use-by dates.
The announcement comes less than a week after waste agency WRAP established a new date label guidance for food manufacturers and retailers to help tackle the amount of edible food discarded in UK homes.
WRAP welcomed the Co-op’s move and said it met the latest guidelines, as long as discounted items were not damaged.