Co-op chain to fight food waste by ignoring ‘Best Before’ dates

Co-op chain to fight food waste by ignoring ‘Best Before’ dates

A regional chain of supermarkets is making a stand against food waste by keeping products past their ‘Best Before’ dates on shelves, for a knock-down price of 10-pence.

The East of England Co-op, a completely separate entity to the national Co-Operative Group or Co-op Food, has announced that it will start selling products beyond their ‘Best Before’ date in its 125 food stores across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. Products that have passed the date printed on their packaging will be sold for a nominal 10p, in a move that the store predicts will save two tonnes of food from being wasted.

The East Anglia retailer has run a three-month trial in 14 of its stores, offering products past their ‘Best Before’ date – the majority of which are tinned products, packets and dried food – for 10p for one month past the labelled date.

Roger Grosvenor, Joint Chief Executive at the East of England Co-op, commented: “”During our trial we found our 10p items went within hours of being reduced, sometimes quicker. The vast majority of our customers understand they are fine to eat and appreciate the opportunity to make a significant saving on some of their favourite products.

“This is not a money making exercise, but a sensible move to reduce food waste and keep edible food in the food chain. By selling perfectly edible food we can save 50,000 items every year which would otherwise have gone to waste.”