Nestle touts food waste reduction initiatives

by Monica Watrous
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Food dates - use by, sell by, best by
Nestle supports a joint effort in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to standardize date labels on food products sold in grocery stores to prevent food waste.

WASHINGTON — Nestle USA has joined other food companies, lawmakers and environmental advocates to support a joint effort in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to standardize date labels on food products sold in grocery stores. The purpose of the proposed legislation is to create clearer date labeling practices to prevent billions of pounds of food from premature disposal into landfills across the country.

The Senate and House bills would override state laws and regulations on food code dating with federal standards. Inconsistent use of such terms as “use by,” “sell by,” “best by” and “expires on” may be confusing consumers and contributing to more waste.

Paul Grimwood, Nestle
Paul Grimwood, chairman and c.e.o. of Nestle USA

“We fully support establishing federal standards to help food companies like Nestle more clearly communicate with consumers and avoid confusion that leads to unnecessary food waste,” said Paul Grimwood, chairman and chief executive officer of Nestle USA. “Nestle has already committed to achieve zero waste to landfill in 100% of our production facilities by 2020 and we’re well on our way to achieving that goal. Standardizing date labeling is a practical and commonsense approach to giving consumers the information they need to help extend this effort all the way to their own kitchens.”

Other Nestle initiatives under way to control food waste include launching the global Nestle Commitment to reduce food loss and waste in 2015, joining other members of the Consumer Goods Forum in pledging to halve food waste across its operations by 2025 against a 2016 baseline, and donating more than 110 million lbs of food and beverages in the past six years through its partnership with Feeding America. In the United States, Nestle has reduced its packaging weight by 9% since 2010, and to date, 40 U.S. factories have achieved zero waste landfill status, with a long-term goal of 100% of factories achieving zero waste by 2020.

“When you look at the global production capacity for food, it will become more and more challenging to produce enough to feed our growing population, and that’s why minimizing waste is so critical,” Mr. Grimwood said. “It’s imperative that we find ways to be more efficient in every part of food production to ensure that food is being used like the scarce resource that it is. We have to start treating it like any other precious commodity instead of a disposable one to reduce cost and the burden on our planet.” 
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