Asda to scrap best before dates from over 200 products

Big 4 grocer Asda has announced its plans to remove best before dates from nearly 250 fresh fruit and vegetable products in a bid to reduce food waste and save customers money.

The change affecting products such as citrus fruits, potatoes, cauliflowers and carrots will come into play from 1 September across all UK stores.

It follows research by climate action group, WRAP which found that the average family throws away £60 worth of food and drink each month.

To aid its customers in understanding how to store and prepare fresh food once best before dates have been removed, Asda will provide guidance online and on packaging with additional tips on reducing food waste.

A new code will appear on packaging instead, used by store staff to maintain high quality and freshness of the hundreds of products affected by the change.

Specialist green grocers with training in Asda’s fresh produce operation and where best to store products to ensure freshness, will also be present in over 250 stores.

READ MORE: Disposable income falls by 20% for under 30s, Asda reveals

Removing best before dates adds to Asda’s target of a 20% reduction in waste by 2025, following further research by WRAP that food waste is responsible for an estimated 36 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year in the UK.

“Reducing food waste in our business and in customers’ homes is a priority and we are always looking at different ways to achieve this,” Asda IPL head of technical, Andy Cockshaw said.

“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.”

WRAP director of collaboration and change, Catherine David added: “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.

“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.”

This news comes as Waitrose, M&S and Ocado have also scrapped best before dates on hundreds of their products.

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