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Best before dates removed as supermarkets tackle food waste

Tesco has announced it will remove best before dates from some fruit and vegetables while Morrisons reveals its food waste figures


Alex   Black

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Alex   Black
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Supermarkets to tackle food waste

Tesco has announced it will remove best before dates from fruit and vegetable lines as food waste comes back into the spotlight.

 

A recent survey from the National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI) showed less than half of respondents understood the meaning of ‘best before’ dates, with fruit and vegetables among the most wasted foods.

 

Tesco head of food waste Mark Little said “We know some customers may be confused by the difference between ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates on food and this can lead to perfectly edible items being thrown away before they need to be discarded."

 

Morrisons

 

It came as Morrisons announced 11,000 tonnes of food went to waste from its stores in 2017/18.

 

The supermarket said it will use the figure as a baseline to measure future efforts and also plans to expand its ‘Wonky veg’ scheme which now sells 50 varieties of seasonal fruit and vegetables which may otherwise have been wasted.


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It has also moved away from ‘display until’ labels towards ‘best before’ dates.

 

Earlier this month, Tesco also announced it will use ‘wonky’ fruit and vegetables which may otherwise have gone to waste in cold press juice drinks.

 

It was hoped within the first 12 weeks of going on sale the Waste NOT range would save about 3.5t of surplus fruit and vegetables, including apples, beetroot and strawberries.

 

Mike Bullock, of Waste NOT, said: “About 50 per cent of celery is discarded in the UK before it even gets past the farm gate, beetroot deemed too large or small is rejected.”

 

But he added this was a solution for ‘ugly’ fruit and veg which was ‘beautiful on the inside’.

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