Search

East of England Co-op selling out of date food at discount prices to help the environment

PUBLISHED: 07:47 04 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:01 04 December 2017

An East of England Co-op supermarket on Norwich Road, Acle. Picture: James Bass Photography

An East of England Co-op supermarket on Norwich Road, Acle. Picture: James Bass Photography

(C) JAMES BASS PHOTOGRAPHY

Shoppers at dozens of East of England Co-op stores will be able to buy food past its best before date to help reduce waste.

The supermarket chain, which has 125 branches and is East Anglia’s biggest independent retailer, is the first major retailer to launch such a movement.

The “perfectly edible” items are on sale for 10p as part of a campaign by the chain to reduce its environmental impact.

Tinned goods, packets and dried food which carry best before dates, rather than use by dates, will be included in the scheme.

The 10p reduced products will not include use by dated goods, which should not be eaten beyond these dates.

According to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the best before date is about quality, not safety, and food is safe to eat after this time but may be past its prime.

Roger Grosvenor, joint chief executive of East of England Co-op, said: “This is not a money-making exercise, but a sensible move to reduce food waste and keep edible food in the food chain.

“By selling perfectly edible food we can save 50,000 plus items every year that would otherwise have gone to waste.

“The vast majority of customers understand they are fine to eat.”

It is estimated the UK throws away 7 million tonnes of food every year, the majority of which could have been eaten, according to the FSA.

The new campaign to sell the discounted products, entitled the Co-op Guide to Dating, follows a three-month trial at 14 of its stores.

“During our trial we found our 10p items went within hours of being reduced, sometimes quicker,” Mr Grosvenor added.

Ratula Chakraborty, a retail expert and senior lecturer in business management at the Norwich Business School at the University of East Anglia, said: “Strictly following best before and use by makes sense for meat and fish products but for the myriad of tinned and packaged dry goods, it is a sensible move to relax the obsession with best before.

“The whole concept of best before is a creation of overzealous regulation resulting in producers and retailers being unduly cautious in labelling their products with the result that perfectly good and edible food is wasted and thrown away uneaten. Hopefully other retailers will follow the Co-op’s lead and in the process support thrifty shopping and reducing food waste.”

Other News

13:36

A bridge that caused travel chaos in Great Yarmouth is experiencing “an electrical problem”.

Two Norfolk teachers were recognised today for their exceptional abilities in the classroom.

12:08

Police are appealing for help identifying two people following a theft in Great Yarmouth.

09:54

A charity is pleading with the government to delay the roll-out of Universal Credit across Norfolk.

Most Read

Yesterday, 15:28

Traffic is at a standstill in Great Yarmouth due to a bridge fault.

Read more
Tue, 16:10

Five bikers who were wrongly convicted of speeding at 140mph on the A47 have had the cases against them dropped after a CPS review.

Read more
UN Court
Wed, 12:03

More than 5,000 tickets have been issued ahead of filming of a concert scene on Gorleston beach for Danny Boyle’s latest film.

Read more
James Paget Hospital
Mon, 17:17

The leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council has said the town’s first air show “went very well”.

Read more
Great Yarmouth Borough Council
Sunday, June 17, 2018

One of the display acts for today’s Great Yarmouth Air Show has been forced to pull out due to mechanical issues.

Read more
Great Yarmouth Air Show 2018

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 10°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the Great
Yarmouth Mercury

e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Great Yarmouth Mercury weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy