Asda has announced plans to remove the best before dates on almost 250 of its fresh fruit & vegetable products to help customers reduce food waste and save money.
From 1st September, the supermarket will remove the dates from a host of packaged fruit and vegetable products including citrus fruits, potatoes, cauliflowers, and carrots, across all of its UK stores.
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.
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.”
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**.
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. Storing most fruit and veg products in the fridge, below 5 degrees, will keep them fresher longer. We know that wasting food feeds climate change and costs us money. The influence of no date label or the right date label on what we use and what we throw away is huge. It is great to see ASDA making these changes and we encourage their customers to check out Love Food Hate Waste for tips on how to reduce food waste, save money and fight climate change. More supermarkets need to get ahead on food waste by axing date labels from fresh produce, allowing people to use their own judgement.”
Asda aims to be a zero waste business and we send zero waste to landfill. The removal of best before labels is just one way Asda is targeting a 20% reduction in waste by 2025. The supermarket also has a comprehensive ‘back of store’ donation scheme in place and since 2018 has donated the equivalent of 8.2m meals from this process to local communities through its relationship with food redistribution charity FareShare.
*Data from WRAP (Food surplus and waste in the UK – key facts)
** WRAP Waste & Resources Action Programme