Asda joins supermarket dash to ditch ‘best before’ dates on fresh produce
Asda has become the latest grocer to remove best before dates from fresh fruit and veg, helping customers to save money and reduce waste
From 1st September, the supermarket will remove the dates from 250 of its fresh fruit and vegetable products.
The change comes as research from the climate action group WRAP reveals that the average family throws away £60 worth of food and drink each month*.
By removing best before dates and encouraging customers to decide themselves if the food is edible, Asda aims to reduce food waste in the home and in the process save customers money.
Globally, food waste is a significant contributor to climate change, accounting for 8% of total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). In the UK alone, food waste is responsible for an estimated 36 million tonnes of GHG emissions every year, according to WRAP**.
The dates will be replaced by a new code which will be used by store colleagues to ensure the highest quality and freshness is maintained. They are supported by specialist green grocers in over 250 stores who have received training in all aspects of Asda’s fresh produce operation, including where products should be stored to maintain freshness and quality.
Asda is also providing additional guidance online and on packaging to help customers to understand how to best store and prepare fresh food as well as handy hints and tips on how to reduce food waste.
Andy Cockshaw, Head of Technical at Asda IPL said: “Reducing food waste in our business and in customers’ homes is a priority and we are always looking at different ways to achieve this. We know for customers this has become more important than ever in the current climate as many families are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis and are looking to make savings wherever they can.”
Catherine David, Director of Collaboration and Change at WRAP, said: “We are delighted by this development from ASDA to help tackle food waste in our homes. Our research has shown that date labels on fruit and veg are unnecessary – getting rid of them can prevent the equivalent of 7 million shopping baskets’ worth from our household bins.”
*Data from WRAP (Food surplus and waste in the UK – key facts)
** WRAP Waste & Resources Action Programme
The move comes as other food retailers including Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose have all removed best before dates from various products. Earlier this year Morrisons also removed them from own-brand fresh milk.
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