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Co-op To Sell Food Past ‘Best Before’ In Bid To Cut Down Wastage


Co-op To Sell Food Past ‘Best Before’ In Bid To Cut Down Wastage

‘‘Don’t be a binner. Have it for dinner!’’

In a radical move to tackle food waste, East of England Co-op has become the first supermarket deciding to sell food past its ‘best before’ date. It is estimated that the UK throws away over 7 million tonnes of perfectly edible food each year. A disgusting waste that the Co-op have decided must be cracked down on.

Photo credit: Flickr

As part of the move, 125 of the supermarket’s East Anglia stores will be selling the likes of tinned goods and dried food at the reduced price of 10p; a decision in line with the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Food Standards Agency’s guidelines. By selling items at this flat rate, the Co-op do not stand to profit; instead, they stand to make a significant move towards the eradication of futile food waste. In the greater scheme of things, the supermarket will lead the way for the other big names in the business to take a similar stance. This is also great news for students, for whom every penny matters when it comes to doing the weekly food shop! Naturally, for health and safety reasons perishable foods which carry a ‘use by’ date will not be included in this scheme.

Many people are understandably confused as to what the difference is between ‘best before’ and ‘use by’. So if that includes you, don’t be embarrassed! To put it simply, ‘best before’ indicates that an item can be sold, redistributed and consumed after this date, whereas ‘use by’ indicates that the item cannot be sold, redistributed or consumed after this date. Prime examples of the latter would be meat and fish.

What are your thoughts on the East of England Co-op’s latest move? Are you guilty of throwing food away as soon as it meets its ‘best before’ date? Perhaps you’re the proud owner of a collection of tins that date back sometime? We’d love to know your reaction to the supermarket’s pioneering scheme! Get in touch with us on Instagram ( or in the comments section below!

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