Co-op stores in Ashford, Lenham, Minster, Seasalter and Whitstable to sell products past their 'best before' date for 20p


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A string of Co-op stores across the county are set to sell cut-price products past their 'best before' date.

It is part of the chain's waste reduction scheme which aims to keep as much produce as possible in the food chain and cut down the amount going to waste.

The Co-op hopes to reduce the amount of food going to waste
The Co-op hopes to reduce the amount of food going to waste

It means convenience stores in Ashford, Lenham, Minster, Seasalter and Whitstable will be selling the out-of-date products where it relates to quality and not the safety of the goods.

And the prices will be slashed to just 20p,

It forms part of the retailer's Reducing Our Foodprint initiative.

Rolling out to more than 100 branches of the Co-op across the south, it hopes to reduce the amount being sent off for anaerobic digestion - a recycling method which breaks food down to produce biogas and bio-fertiliser.

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.

The initiative is part of the Co-op's Reducing our Foodprint scheme
The initiative is part of the Co-op's Reducing our Foodprint scheme

"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.

"The first stage in the fight against food waste is to make sure there aren't products reaching their best before date. But if they do, we will now be reducing them to 20p to try and keep them in the food chain and improve sustainability."

The initial trial of the Reducing our Foodprint initiative took place at 13 stores run by the independent, regional co-operative and proved a success with the majority of products being sold within a day of being reduced.

The stores in Kent which are now included in the Reducing our Foodprint initiative are The Co-operative Food stores in Ashford's Loudon Way; Lenham's Faversham Road; Minster's Monkton Road; Seasalter's Faversham Road; and Whitstable's Cromwell Road.

Fresh products will be sold up to two days after their ‘best before' date and 'ambient' products - those stored at room temperature - will be sold up to seven days after their ‘best before' date.

The Co-op store in Faversham Road, Seasalter will be one of those taking part in the scheme
The Co-op store in Faversham Road, Seasalter will be one of those taking part in the scheme

Examples of products included in the reduction initiative include tinned fruit and vegetables, 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.

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.

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