Marks & Spencer will take away “best before” dates from greater than 300 fruit and vegetable merchandise this week.
Following a profitable trial, the retailer will scrap dates from contemporary produce throughout its shops and encourage prospects to make use of their judgement to determine when meals can now not be eaten.
In the UK, greater than two million tonnes of meals that’s nonetheless edible goes to waste, based on the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP).
Fruits and greens are a number of the most commonly-wasted gadgets in households, significantly apples and potatoes.
They make up 85 per cent of M&S’s produce providing.
The “best before” dates on contemporary produce can be changed by a brand new code that permits M&S employees to examine freshness and high quality.
The retailer dedicated to halve meals waste by 2030 as a part of its sustainability roadmap.
It additionally goals to have all of its edible surplus be redistributed by 2025.
Other steps M&S has taken to scale back meals waste contains utilizing unsold baguettes and boul loaves to make frozen garlic bread.
The transfer follows different supermarkets which have made comparable selections on “best before” dates.
In 2018, Tesco scrapped “best before” dates on greater than 100 fruit and vegetable merchandise, whereas Morrisons introduced its plan to take away “use by” dates from 90 per cent of its personal model milk in January this yr.
Morrisons inspired prospects to make use of a “sniff test” earlier than throwing merchandise away as an alternative of adhering strictly to the “use by” or “best before” dates.
According to WRAP’s steering on “best before dates”, revealed in April 2020, many meals gadgets which are previous they’re dates “remains safe and perfectly good to eat for days, weeks, months or even years” afterwards.
Jamie Crummie, co-founder of meals waste app Too Good To Go, mentioned in WRAP’s report: “Date labelling has, and continues to be, a confusing issue for both businesses and consumers.
“This uncertainty could lead to food waste on a large scale across society. For example, last year we found that 720 million eggs are wasted by Brits each year because of confusions around ‘best before’ date labelling.
“‘Best before’ is simply a measure of quality rather than safety and we welcome the latest guidance from WRAP for food business and redistribution organisations on the issue.”
Andrew Clappen, director of meals know-how at M&S, mentioned: “We’re determined to tackle food waste – our teams and suppliers work hard to deliver fresh, delicious, responsibly-sourced produce at great value and we need to do all we can to make sure none of it gets thrown away.
“To do that, we need to be innovative and ambitious – removing ‘best before’ dates where safe to do so, trialling new ways to sell our products, and galvanising our customers to get creative with leftovers and embrace change.”
Catherine David, director of collaboration and alter at WRAP, added: “We’re thrilled to see this move from M&S, which will reduce food waste and help tackle the climate crisis.
“Removing dates on fresh fruit and veg can save the equivalent of seven million shopping baskets of food being binned in our homes.
“We urge more supermarkets to get ahead on food waste by axing date labels from fresh produce, allowing people to use their own judgement.”