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Co-op to scrap use-by dates on own-brand yogurts

The Co-op is to replace use-by dates on all its own-brand yogurts with best before guidance in a bid to reduce food waste (Co-op/PA)
The Co-op is to replace use-by dates on all its own-brand yogurts with best before guidance in a bid to reduce food waste (Co-op/PA)

The Co-op is to scrap use-by dates on all its own-brand yogurts in a bid to reduce food waste, the company has announced.

The supermarket giant said that, under the move which it claims is an industry first, on-pack “use by” guidance will be replaced with “best before” dates on its entire range of own-brand yogurts.

The company said six million people in the UK eat a yogurt every day, but research from charity Wrap shows that half are thrown away in unopened packs, mainly because of not being used in time.

Nick Cornwell, of the Co-op, said: “Yogurt can be safe to eat if stored unopened in a fridge after the date mark shown, so we have made the move to best-before dates to help reduce food waste.

“The acidity of yogurt acts as a natural defence and we’d encourage shoppers to use their judgment on the quality of their yogurt if it is past the best-before date.

“Data from Wrap has suggested that 70% of food waste happens within the home setting. It’s our ambition to help our members and customers to make small changes that will collectively make a big impact and combat unnecessary food waste.

“Controlling food waste is not only beneficial for managing household budgets, it also has an environmental benefit and will ultimately help reduce carbon emissions.

“We encourage more retailers and brands to review their on-pack guidance and make the switch to best-before dates for yogurts.”

Catherine David, of Wrap, said: “We’re delighted to see Co-op making this change to its entire yogurt range, as we know that the date label on yogurt is a fundamental reason that it is wasted at home.

“Wasting food feeds climate change and costs money. Applying a best-before date helps give people the confidence to use their judgment to eat beyond a best-before date and use more of the yogurt they buy – protecting the planet and their pockets.”