Food to be sold past 'best before' date at much cheaper prices at Southern Co-Op stores in Portsmouth and Hampshire
CONVENIENCE stores in Portsmouth and Hampshire will now sell some food past its best before date.
Southern Co-op has expanded its ‘Reducing Our Foodprint ’ initiative to tackle food waste and lower the carbon footprint in shops.
More than 100 shops in the south of England have implemented the scheme and products will be sold at 20p.
Following successful, 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.
‘Many of us are already familiar with this in our home environment so this just takes it one step further.’
‘Best before’ dates relate to the quality of a product, rather than safety concern.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) advises that food items past the date are safe to consume, but may not be at the producers’ optimum quality.
Initial trials took place for the initiative took place at 13 stores.
Most products were sold within a day of being reduced, with customers buying 16,862 items between April and September 2021, at 11 of the 13 shops.
Fresh items, such as fruit, have a limit of two-days after their ‘best before’ date, and other things such as dried pasta and tinned fruit and veg, are capped at seven days post their date.
Mr Eastwood added: ‘The first stage in the fight against food waste is to make sure there aren't products reaching their best before date.
‘If they do though, we will now be reducing them to 20p to try and keep them in the food chain and improve sustainability.’
Food waste at Southern Co-op stores is also being diverted away from landfill and used to produce biogas and bio-fertiliser instead.
Several locations in Portsmouth offer the cheaper products.
These include stores in Copnor Road, Eastney Road, Elm Grove, Fawcett Road, Great Southsea Street, Highland Road, New Road, Northern Parade, Tangier Road, The Hard, Twyford Avenue and Winter Road.
Other sites in Hampshire include selected stores in Basingstoke, Alresford, Alton, Emsworth, Southbourne, Westbourne and Winchester.