Arla Foods is removing all use-by dates on its branded fresh milk in the UK and replacing them with best before dates in a move to help reduce food waste.
The decision follows a poll of 2,000 adults by the dairy company, which found that only 15% of respondents were confident they understood everything on labels.
More than a third (34%) were unsure of the difference between the best before and use-by labels, while 11% thought they were the same thing.
According to Arla’s survey, this confusion means a third (34% ) end up binning food if past its best before date, while another 38% do the same once the product has passed its use-by date.
“Our research shows that consumers are clearly confused about labelling on their food products, particularly when it comes to use-by and best before dates,” said Fran Ball, director of quality, environment and safety, Arla Foods UK.
“As a nation, we waste around 490 million pints of milk every year. By making some changes to the labels on our fresh milk and yogurts, we want to make people’s lives a little easier and help to cut food waste in the home. To make sure everyone can easily understand our packaging, we’re asking them to tell us which label they want to see on our bottles.
“Because we are owned by farmers, we know how much hard work goes into producing milk to Arla’s high-quality standards. If changing the label gives people the confidence that their milk might still be ok for a few further days after the date on the bottle, we’ll all play a part in reducing food waste.”
The new best before labels will roll out across all of Arla’s branded fresh milk in the UK, including Cravendale, BOB and Goodness, with the entire yogurt portfolio also making the switch in 2020.
Arla said that standard fresh milk can often last a few days (typically two to three days) beyond the date on bottles. Filtered milks like Cravendale and Big Milk will often last longer.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019