Wednesday, 28th November 2012
New campaign urges consumers to check the dates and cut food waste
New research by safefood for their "Cut Food Waste” campaign has revealed that 32% of
consumers believe 'best before' and 'use by' dates on food labels means the same thing. The research also revealed that 44% of consumers know there's a difference between the two but are unsure which is which.
To help cut food waste, safefood and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Stop Food Waste programme have joined together as part of European Week for Waste Reduction to encourage consumers to check the dates on food labels.
Dr. Gary Kearney, Director, Food Science, safefood said "We know that 30% of the food we buy is thrown away and the aim of this campaign is to help consumers become more aware of 'use by' and 'best before' dates on foods and the difference between them. And with most people underestimating just how much of their weekly grocery bill is wasted on food that is in the end, thrown out, consumers can save money by focusing on these dates. Our advice is to treat 'Best Before Dates' as a guideline and 'Use By Dates' as a deadline.”
Odile Le Bolloch, spokesperson for Stop Food Waste at the EPA, welcomed the week commenting "Understanding the difference between 'best before' and 'use by' dates will empower consumers to stop wasting food and save them money. European Week for Waste Reduction gives us a chance to highlight to everyone that the way we consume and waste food has a key role in building a sustainable society that is resource efficient.”
Research for the campaign also found that consumers said bread was the food they wasted most (43%), followed by fruit (15%), dairy products (12%), Vegetables (10%) and cooked packaged meat (4%).
safefood's "Cut Food Waste” campaign includes outdoor, radio and online advertising reminding consumers not to get caught out by out of date food and treat 'Best Before' dates as a guideline and 'Use By dates' as a deadline.
European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) organised by the EPA National Waste Prevention Programme is about encouraging behaviour changes to promote more sustainable consumption and production. A full list of events taking place around the country can be found on the EPA website at http://www.ewwr.ie many of which are open to the general public. These include business seminars and public information events in a wide variety of locations.
The following organisations have been involved in developing the events: An Taisce Green Home/Schools, local authorities in Kilkenny, Carlow, Cavan, Monaghan, Galway, Cork, Limerick, Clare and Kerry, Repak/EPA Packaging Prevention Programme, the Clean Technology Centre, Cork and??the Green Hospitality and Green business Programmes.
For more information on how to reduce waste, people can visit the EPA's BeGreen website (www.begreen.ie) a one-stop-shop for individuals and businesses to access a range of programmes, guides and case studies that can assist them in becoming resource efficient and includes ideas on what can be done to reduce waste, save money & benefit the environment. For more information about safefood's 'Cut Food Waste' campaign, visit http://www.safefood.eu
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