More reports on: Foods / beverages

East of England Co-op to become first major retailer to sell food past its ''best before'' dates

06 December 2017

East of England Co-op will become the first major retailer to sell food past its "best before" dates.

The chain which has 125 stores in East Anglia will sell dried foods and tinned products for only 10p as it looks to cut food waste.

According to Wrap, the waste and recycling advisory body, the Co-op's "bold" move complied with food safety standards.

According to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the UK throws away 7.3 million tonnes of food every year.

Last week, national waste agency Wrap, with government support, launched a new initiative to help prevent edible food going to waste.

The Co-op move had "implications.... for a wider roll out", Wrap said.

The offer will however, not apply to perishable foods, which carry a "use by" date indicating when a product is safe to eat.

The "Don't be a Binner, have it for dinner" campaign has been launched following a successful three-month trial in 14 stores.

According to Roger Grosvenor, East of England Co-op's joint chief executive, the 10p items were sold within hours of being reduced.

"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," he said, BBC reported.

Businesses have a role to play in reducing food waste too, commentators point out. Wrap research reveals that of the 1.9 million tonnes of food wasted by the UK manufacturing and retail sector, 1.1 million tonnes is avoidable.

According to commentators, if other retailers follow suit, the measure could both massively reduce food waste and provide cheap food to struggling shoppers.

The move comes after a successful three month trial in 14 of the Co-op's stores and will be launched under a new campaign, 'The Co-op Guide to Dating'.

According to the FSA, products past their 'Best Before' date are safe to eat but may not be at the optimum quality. The heavily reduced products will be on sale for one month past their Best Before date.

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