Getting rid of best before dates would dramatically reduce food waste in Ireland, according to Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore.

Deputy Whitmore, who is the party’s spokesperson on climate and biodiversity, said:

“At today’s meeting of the Joint Committee on Environment and Climate Action, I pointed out that a million tonnes of food is thrown away in Ireland every year – 45 per cent of it because of the presence of best before dates.

“Best before dates are arbitrarily stamped on products by producers, with Safe Food Ireland saying there is no heath and safety reason for them.

“Producers are unlikely to agree to a voluntary end to the practice as it will hit their bottom line – the more food wasted, the more money they make. For this reason, I believe that a mandatory approach to this issue is required.

“The reality is that one-twelfth of our greenhouse gasses are created by food waste, so this is making it more difficult for us to meet our climate action targets.

“There has been too much focus on educating consumers about their behaviour instead of putting the onus on producers to change their ways.

“Removing best before dates would be a simple thing to do. We should not need to set up groups or committees to achieve this.”

May 21, 2024

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