U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) is removing best-before dates from a range of fresh produce to help reduce in-store and household food waste.
Best-before dates will be removed from the labeling of over 300 fruit and vegetable products — 85% of M&S’ produce offering — including commonly wasted items such as apples, potatoes and broccoli. Dates will be replaced with a new code which M&S store colleagues will use to ensure freshness and quality is maintained.
The change, which is being rolled out across all M&S U.K. stores from this week, is designed to encourage customers to throw away less edible food at home by using their judgement.
Research from WRAP shows that an estimated 6.6m million tonnes of food is thrown away by U.K. households a year.
As part of its Plan A sustainability roadmap, M&S has pledged to halve food waste by 2030, with 100% of edible surplus to be redistributed by 2025.
Andrew Clappen, M&S Director of Food Technology, said: “We’re determined to tackle food waste — our teams and suppliers work hard to deliver fresh, delicious, responsibly sourced produce at great value, and we need to do all we can to make sure none of it gets thrown away. To do that, we need to be innovative and ambitious — removing best-before dates where safe to do so, trialing new ways to sell our products and galvanizing our customers to get creative with leftovers and embrace change.”
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