M&S removes best before dates from fruit and veg

Marks and Spencer (M&S) is removing best before dates from its fruit and vegetables in an attempt to reduce food waste.

The dates will be removed from over 300 fruit and vegetable products – 85 per cent of M&S’ produce offering.

The move is designed to encourage customers to throw away less edible food at home by using their judgement rather than a use by date.

M&S said the dates will be replaced with a new code which M&S staff will use to ensure freshness and quality is maintained.

The change is being rolled out across all UK stores from this week.

The retailer has pledged to halve food waste by 2030, with 100 per cent of edible surplus to be redistributed by 2025.

“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,” said Andrew Clappen, director of food technology, M&S. “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.

“The other side of the challenge is making sure anything edible we don’t sell reaches those who need it most. By partnering with Neighbourly since 2015 we’ve ensured over 44million meals are redistributed to local communities. Our promise as we aim for our target of halving food waste is to keep searching for solutions while we maintain the standards and value our customers expect.”

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