M&S remove best before dates from fruit and vegetables

·2-min read

Marks & Spencer plans to remove “best before” dates from more than 300 fruit and vegetable products.

They made the move in a bid to reduce food waste, beginning this week.

Best before dates on products will be replaced ith a new code for M&S staff to check for freshness and quality.

Dates will be scrapped across all stores following a successful trial run and hopes customers will use their judgement to decide whether food is no longer suitable to eat.

Fruit and vegetables, including apples and potatoes, make up 85% of M&S’s produce offering.

They have also turned unsold baguettes and boule loaves to make frozen garlic bread.

M&S has pledged to half food waste by 2030 as part of its sustainability roadmap.

Andrew Clappen, director of food technology at M&S, 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, trialling new ways to sell our products, and galvanising our customers to get creative with leftovers and embrace change.”

Other retailers have made similar steps in recent years.

Tescos scrapped best before dates on more than 100 fruit and vegetable products in 2018.

Morrisons announced plans to remove use by dates from 90% of its own brand milk and asked customers to use the “sniff test” in January this year.

Catherine David, director of collaboration and change at the Waste & Resources Action Programme (Wrap), said: “We’re thrilled to see this move from M&S, which will reduce food waste and help tackle the climate crisis.

“Removing dates on fresh fruit and veg can save the equivalent of seven million shopping baskets of food being binned in our homes.

“We urge more supermarkets to get ahead on food waste by axing date labels from fresh produce, allowing people to use their own judgment.”

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