Asda axes best before dates on fruit and vegetables
Asda has become the latest supermarket to remove best before dates on certain products in a bid to reduce food waste both in store and in consumer homes.
Asda has announced plans to remove the best before dates on almost 250 of its fresh fruit and vegetable products in what the retail giant says is a bid to help customers reduce food waste and save money.
From 1 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.
Asda says the dates will be replaced by a new code which will be used by store staff to check the products are fresh and meet quality standards. The retailer has also confirmed that staff will be supported by specialist greengrocers 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.
“Reducing food waste in our business and in customers’ homes is a priority and we are always looking at different ways to achieve this,” said Andy Cockshaw, Head of Technical at Asda IPL.
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.”
Food waste is a critical issue to tackle for the food and beverage industry, both in the battle against climate change and in light of climbing food prices. In fact, research from the climate action group WRAP reveals that the average family throws away £60 worth of food and drink each month.
“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 seven million shopping baskets’ worth from our household bins,” said Catherine David, Director of Collaboration and Change at WRAP.
“Storing most fruit and veg products in the fridge, below five 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.
“More supermarkets need to get ahead on food waste by axing date labels from fresh produce, allowing people to use their own judgement.”
Asda says it aims to be a zero waste business and claims it sends send zero waste to landfill. The removal of best before labels is just of the supermarket’s target of a 20 per cent reduction in waste by 2025.
The supermarket also has a food 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.