Reducing Our Foodprint initiative to sell food past best before date
Convenience stores across East and West Sussex will be selling selected products past their ‘best before’ date as it relates to quality, not the safety of the product.
With the aim of keeping more food in the human food chain, Southern Co-op has expanded its Reducing Our Foodprint initiative with products being reduced to just 20p.
Now available in more than 100 Co-operative Food stores across the south of England, the waste reduction scheme aims to keep as much produce as possible in the food chain and reduce the amount sent off for anaerobic digestion.
Simon Eastwood, Chief Operating Officer for Retail at Southern Co-op, said: “Customer feedback from the trials of this scheme has been largely positive with many of the products being snapped up as soon as they get reduced.
“There are a large number of products that are still good enough to eat past their ‘best before’ date. The first stage in the fight against food waste is to make sure there aren’t products reaching their best before date. But if they do, we will now be reducing them to 20p to try and keep them in the food chain and improve sustainability.”
The initial trial of the Reducing our Foodprint initiative took place at 13 stores run by the independent, regional co-operative and proved a success with the majority of products being sold within a day of being reduced.
Between April and September 2021, there were 16,862 items processed at the 20p price point across 11 of the 13 stores.
Stores in East and West Sussex involved in the initiative
The stores in East Sussex that are now included in the Reducing our Foodprint initiative are The Co-operative Food stores in Brighton’s Bramber House; Eastbourne’s Beatty Road, Lindfield Road and Seaside; Hove’s Old Shoreham Road, Portland Road and Western Road; Portslade’s Abinger Road; St Leonards’ 100 Battle Road and 290 Battle Road; and Wadhurst’s Sparrows Green Road.
The stores in West Sussex which are now included in the Reducing our Foodprint initiative are The Co-operative Food stores in Angmering’s The Square; Bognor Regis’s Hawthorn Road and Rose Green Road; Bosham’s Delling Lane; Burgess Hill’s Junction Road and London Road; Chichester’s Bognor Road, Lavant Road, Oliver Whitby Road, Spitalfield Lane and Stockbridge Road; East Wittering’s Cakeham Road; Ferring’s Ferring Street; Haywards Heath’s Franklynn Road; Horsham’s Guildford Road; Selsey’s High Street; and Yapton’s Main Road.
Fresh products (such as fruit and veg and dried pasta) will be sold up to two days after their ‘best before’ date and ambient products will be sold up to seven days after their ‘best before’ date.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) advises that products past their ‘best before’ date are safe to consume but may not be at the optimum quality intended by the producer.
Southern Co-op climate change action plan
Southern Co-op is currently working towards ambitious science based targets to cut direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions from the business by 2030, supported by a climate action pathway of planned activity and an initial investment of £5.8m.