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Bye-bye sell-by-dates

The Channel Islands Coop removes sell-by dates from products to help reduce food waste

10 October 2022

The Channel Islands Coop is removing the sell-by dates from its own-brand products in a move to help reduce food waste. 

Kicking off the initiative with its own-brand (Coop) dairy products and desserts, shoppers will no longer see a date of expiry on the products but will instead be able to ‘judge’ on their own terms the quality of the product before purchasing.

It is a decision that has already been adopted by other Coop’s in the UK such as East of England Coop and Coop UK (Manchester).

Although the Channel Islands Coop works with local organisations and charities such as OLIO, Guernsey Welfare Service and The Grace Trust to reduce their food waste, it wants to take a step further in limiting what ends up in the landfill by removing the dates and helping to educate its customers and Members about the meaning behind the display dates. 

Chief Executive Officer for The Channel Islands Co-operative Society, Mark Cox, said: As a community retailer, we want to ensure that we are doing all we can to support and preserve our natural environment. We recognised that we have a responsibility to reduce our contribution to the issue of food waste, hence why we are making this move to further reduce our wastage. 

According to the Government of Jersey, it is believed that around a third of rubbish that ends up in household bins is food waste. Furthermore, it is thought that more than a quarter of food is thrown away in its original packaging. 

The issue is also one of concern in Guernsey where it has previously been reported that more than 50 tonnes of food waste get collected from households each week. 

The campaign is not only about looking at reducing the environmental impact of food waste, but also to educate islanders on the meaning behind dating on food packaging, which can ultimately help save food and money for islanders. 

Mark Cox said: Food date labels can sometimes be confusing or ambiguous, with terms such as ‘Display until’ or ‘Best before’. By removing this, we’re choosing to bring shopping ‘back to its basics’ by encouraging shoppers to look, see and inspect the products they are purchasing. 

As part of the change, the Channel Islands Coop is also reassuring shoppers that although the dates will be removed from own-brand products, colleagues in food stores will continue their routine of checking and rotating stock as per usual to ensure that all products we sell are meeting requirements for sale and safety. 

For any products nearing the end of their reasonable shelf-life, the price will be reduced to reflect its short-term quality 

The Channel Islands Coop believe that along with the educational elements surrounding this campaign, including fresh produce storage guide, recipe ideas and more, that customers and Members will shop more consciously, thinking more about the food that they buy, and the impact of food waste.  

For more details on the Channel Islands Coop sell-by date removal initiative, please head to: