The cooperative is set to remove best before dates from all of its own-brand yoghurts in a bid to reduce food waste, the company has confirmed.
The budget supermarket chain said the move, which it considers an industry first, will see best-before dates removed and replaced with best-before dates across its own-brand yoghurt range.
According to the retailer, six million people in the UK consume yoghurt every day, but research from the charity group Wrap indicates that half are thrown away in unopened packs because they are not used in time.
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The move comes shortly after supermarket giant Morrisons opted to use ‘best before’ dates on milk rather than ‘use by’, with the move becoming a first supermarket according to the association Recycling Charity Wrap.
The co-op’s Nick Cornwell said: “Yoghurt is safe to eat if stored unopened in a fridge after the date shown, so we’ve opted for best before dates to help reduce food waste.
“The acidity of yogurt acts as a natural defense and we encourage buyers to use their judgment on the quality of their yogurt if it has passed its best before date.
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“Data from Wrap suggests that 70% of food waste happens at home. Our ambition is to help our members and customers make small changes that will collectively have a big impact and fight unnecessary food waste.
“Controlling food waste is not only beneficial for managing household budgets, it also has an environmental benefit and will ultimately help reduce carbon emissions. We encourage more retailers and brands to review their packaging recommendations and move to yogurt best before dates.”
Catherine David, from Wrap, added: “We are delighted to see Co-op making this change to their entire yoghurt range, as we know the date label on yoghurt is a fundamental reason why it is wasted at home.
“Food waste fuels climate change and costs money. Enforcing an expiration date helps give people the confidence to use their judgment to eat past an expiration date and use more yogurt they buy, protecting the planet and their pockets.”