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May 18, 2016

2 Min Read
Nestle Backs Legislation to Standardize Date Labels

Nestle and other food company representatives, environmental advocates and academics expressed support Wednesday for a joint effort in the US Senate and House of Representatives to standardize date labels on foods stocked in grocery stores.

Bills in the Senate and House aim to streamline product date labels to reduce food waste. 160 billion pounds of food are prematurely thrown away each year, according to a Nestle press release, which has detrimental environmental and economic impacts.

“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,” Paul Grimwood, chairman and CEO of Nestle USA said in a statement. “Nestle has already committed to achieve zero waste 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.”

At issue are the terms “use by,” “sell by,” “best by,” and “expires on” in date labeling, which are used inconsistently and create confusion among consumers, the company said.

Nestle launched a global commitment to reducing food loss and waste in 2015, and joined other members of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) in a resolution to halve food waste across Nestle’s operations by 2025.

“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,” 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,” he said.

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