Co-op to sell out-of-date food for 20p!


Southern Co-op to start selling out-of-date food for 20p in 11 stores – see full list

Discounted fruits, vegetables and even snacks will be available at selected Southern Co-op stores as part of efforts to crack down on the five million tonnes of edible food thrown away every year in the UKmirror

The Co-op store
“Best before” dates appear on a wide range of frozen, dried, tinned and other foods to indicate quality (Image: Stoke Sentinel)

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Eleven Co-op stores will start selling products that have passed their ‘best before’ date as part of a new trial to tackle food waste.

Items including fruits, vegetables and even pasta will be available from 20p at selected Southern Co-op stores in efforts to crack down on the five million tonnes of edible food thrown away every year in the UK.

The project is part of the chain’s ‘Reducing our Footprint’ initiative that launches this week and focuses on ‘best before’ dates.

These stamps are about quality, not safety. The date means that while the item might begin to lose its flavour and texture after a certain point, it’s still safe to eat. Once a product passes its sell by date, it is considered unsafe to consume.

Best before dates are included to help guide shoppers on how long their product will keep 'fresh' for
Best before dates are included to help guide shoppers on how long their product will stay ‘fresh’ for (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Gemma Lacey, director of sustainability and communications at Southern Co-op, said: “People are more aware than ever of the impact of unnecessary food waste.”

She said the grocer wants “prove that a large number of products are still tasty and good enough to eat past their ‘best before’ date.”Sponsored Link by TaboolaAre you ready for Desert Order?Desert Order

Lacey added: “We hope this will also raise awareness that there are products in the back of people’s cupboards which don’t need to be thrown away.” READ1Marks & Spencer’s slammed over ‘pathetic’ tweet following Aldi’s charity suggestion2Drivers of older cars face paying £6 more to fill up their vehicle from September3Tesco shopper who bagged £80 shop for £27 shares ‘exact’ time for hidden discounts

According to national figures, UK households waste five million tonnes of edible food every year and together we can do more to keep edible food in the food chain.

An initial trial of the ‘Reducing our Foodprint’ took place at two Hampshire stores last year. The grocer said “the majority of products sold within a day of being reduced”.

The extended trial will run for 12 weeks at The Co-operative Food stores in Bath’s Widcombe Hill, Blandford’s Salisbury Road, Bradford On Avon’s Winsley Road, Frome’s Nunney Road, Lambourn’s High Street, Mere’s The Square, Old Sarum’s Crosier Close, Shaftesbury’s Beaufoy Close, Shrewton’s High Street, Sturminster’s Station Road, and Yeovil’s Mudford Road.ADVERTISEMENT

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Products will be available for 20p with fresh products being sold up to two days after their ‘best before’ date and ambient products being sold up to seven days after their ‘best before’ date.

Examples of products included in the reduction initiative include tinned fruit and veg, dried pasta and rice, confectionery, selected condiments, sugar and sweeteners, coffee, tea and jams as well as chilled products such as soft fruit and fruit juices.

Examples of products included in the initiative include tinned fruit and veg, coffee, tea and jams
Examples of products included in the initiative include tinned fruit and veg, coffee, tea and jams (Image: Getty)

Gemma Lacey added: “We have some ambitious climate action targets over the next decade as we aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our direct operations by 50% by 2030, compared to 2019.

“This will build on the initial work we did to reduce our emissions by 27% in 2018 compared with 2012. We hope more businesses will join us and together we can start to make an impact on climate change.”

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.

What stores are included?

The extended trial will run for 12 weeks at the following Southern Co-operative Food stores.

  1. Widcombe Hill, Bath
  2. Salisbury Road, Blandford
  3. On Avon’s Winsley Road, Bradford
  4. Nunney Road, Frome
  5. High Street, Lambourn
  6. The Square, Mere
  7. Crosier Close, Old Sarum
  8. Beaufoy Close, Shaftesbury
  9. High Street, Shrewton
  10. Station Road, Sturminster
  11. Mudford Road, Yeovil

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