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Extending Food Life By A Day Can Prevent Mass Wastage: Report

Published on Mar 8 2015 2:01 PM in Fresh Produce

Extending Food Life By A Day Can Prevent Mass Wastage: Report

Extending food life for a range of products by just one day could save up to 250,000 tonnes of food waste in the UK each year, according to new research.

WRAP's (Waste & Resources Action Programme) examined a range of products that typically have a high level of waste, such as bread, milk, chilled ready meals and fresh fruit.

WRAP sampled about 23,000 products and interviewed retailers, food manufacturers and trade associations, after which they selected ten foods for in-depth investigation.

The report sets out five recommendations of possible adjustments within the supply chain that could increase product life for consumers and consequently save food waste:

  • Manufacturers and retailers should experiment with safety and quality buffers to identify possibilities of extending a product's life for consumers.
  • There has to be a standardised approach to 'open life' (the time an item is safe to eat or remains at optimum quality once open), and 'open life' should only be applied to food safety, but not quality indicators.
  • Supply-chain practices such as stock rotation should be reviewed with a focus on increasing food life.
  • Delivery times to retailers should be benchmarked to improve performance.
  • WRAP advocates for display-until dates to be removed from all foods.

According to Dr Richard Swannell, director of sustainable food systems at WRAP, "Shoppers could save up to £500 million and businesses could save £100 million in waste prevention alone" by applying these adjustments.

The report and its recommendations have been backed by the FSA. Dr Linden Jack, head of the food-hygiene policy branch at the FSA, welcomes WRAP's recommendations, which seem to offer sensible proposals that can extend a product's life without compromising safety for consumers and reduce overall food waste.

© 2015 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. 

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