Tesco banishes more best before dates as shoppers say it helps reduce food waste

Tesco is set to remove over a hundred more best before dates from its fruit and vegetables, as customers say it helps them reduce food waste.

Newly commissioned research reveals 69% of customers believe scrapping best before dates is a good idea. 53% of shoppers in the same survey saying they believe scrapping best before dates makes a difference, helping them keep perfectly good food for longer.

Best before dates will be scrapped on 116 additional products including apples, oranges, cabbages and asparagus. This follows the supermarket removing the guidance dates from around 70 fruit and veg lines earlier this year.

This is part of Tesco’s commitment to reduce food waste, helping to prevent perfectly edible food from being thrown away as a part of its farm to fork approach to tackling food waste.

Tesco’s Head of Food Waste Reduction Mark Little said,

"Removing best before dates is our way of making it easier for customers to reduce food waste at home and save money in the process.

“It’s simply not right that food goes to waste and we’re going to do everything we can to help.”

Last week, CEO Dave Lewis called for global transparency on food waste as twenty-seven of Tesco’s biggest suppliers published their food waste data for the first time.

Tesco became the first UK retailer to publish the amount of food wasted in its UK operations in 2013. The retailer is now over 70% of the way towards its goal that no food that’s safe for human consumption goes to waste from its UK stores and distribution centres.

Note to editors 

Tesco believes in a shared responsibility to tackle food waste from farm to fork:

  • In Tesco’s UK retail operations, the goal is that no food safe for human consumption goes to waste. To help reach this goal, colleagues in stores work with local community groups on a daily basis to redistribute leftover food.
    • Community Food Connection has been rolled out to all Tesco stores with 30 million meals donated to around 7,000 charities and community groups.
  • Tesco also works in partnership with our suppliers to find ways to use as much of their crop as possible. Whether it’s stretching our specifications to include fruit and veg of different shapes and sizes or creating new great-tasting products from produce that may otherwise have gone to waste. 
    • As an example, before an avocado passes its best, it is taken to a UK supplier and used to create guacamole.
  • The referenced survey is a nationally representative sample of 2,010 people conducted by independent market research agency, Walnut Unlimited between 8- 10 August 2018.

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