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Co-op to sell food past 'best before' date for 10p in attempt to reduce food waste

The Co-op will start selling food past its "best before" date for just 10p as it looks to tackle the issue of food waste.

From Monday shoppers at 125 Co-op stores in East Anglia will be able to purchase "perfectly edible" items as part of a campaign to reduce the chain's impact on the environment.

Items such as tinned goods and dried food which have a "best before" date, rather than "use by" dates, will be available for the reduced price as part of the scheme.

The "best before" date is about quality, not safety, so the food is fine to eat beyond even though it has gone beyond its optimum.

Food will be reduced to 10p. Credit: PA

Roger Grosvenor, joint chief executive of East of England Co-op, told The Grocer magazine customers appreciated the opportunity to save money, with many of the 10p items flying off the shelves within an hour of them being reduced during the scheme's trial period.

He added: "This is not a money-making exercise, but a sensible move to reduce food waste and keep edible food in the food chain.

"By selling perfectly edible food we can save 50,000 plus items every year that would otherwise have gone to waste.

"The vast majority of customers understand they are fine to eat."

It is estimated that 7 million tonnes of food is discarded every year with the majority being fit for consumption.

The East of England Co-op will launch a campaign entitled The Co-op Guide to Dating, which will run with the slogan "Don't be a binner. Have it for dinner!"

The announcement follows Aldi's plan to give surplus stock to the less fortunate on Christmas Eve.

Aldi have launched a campaign. Credit: PA

The statement on the company's Twitter account, says an estimated 20-30 crates of leftover food from each of its stores will be free to good causes and those in need from 4pm on December 24.

Charities and local organisations are being urged to contact Aldi's head office to arrange collection of the excess stock.