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East Suffolk District councillor James Mallinder on the importance of food waste reduction as Morrisons announces new milk policy



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An East Suffolk district councillor has highlighted the importance of food waste reduction as Morrisons announced it will scrap 'Use By' dates on 90 per cent of its own brand milk.

Milk is the third most wasted food and drink product in the UK after potatoes and bread, with around 490 million pints wasted every year.

But from January 31, Morrisons, which has stores in Lowestoft, Beccles and Ipswich, will encourage customers to use a sniff test rather than referring to the usual 'Use By' date in the hope less milk will be tossed away prematurely.

James Mallinder, East Suffolk Council cabinet member for the environment. Picture: East Suffolk Council.
James Mallinder, East Suffolk Council cabinet member for the environment. Picture: East Suffolk Council.

James Mallinder, East Suffolk District councillor and portfolio holder for Environment, said the climate emergency was 'increasingly demanding action' and one of the easiest ways of acting positively for the environment was to think about how we consume food.

He said: "Purchase only what we need and use all of the item.

"Supermarkets must start helping their consumers to make the right decision and so by removing use by dates from milk it might suggest to consumers a simple taste will determine if the milk is fit to drink."

Morrisons has announced it will be scrapping 'Use By' dates on 90 per cent of its own brand milk from January 31. Picture: Morrisons.
Morrisons has announced it will be scrapping 'Use By' dates on 90 per cent of its own brand milk from January 31. Picture: Morrisons.

Yet, Cllr Mallinder added: "However supermarkets have a long way to go to contribute to the climate concerns, they need to start by paying farmers a fair price for home grown produce and stop important food from around the world.

"If supermarkets were serious about the environment they would give a carbon calculation on everything we purchase."

Milk has a large carbon footprint because its production is so resource-intensive.

Morrisons hopes its latest move will stop millions of pints of its own brand milk from being thrown away every year.

Morrisons hopes the move will stop millions of pints of its own brand milk from being thrown away every year. Picture: Morrisons.
Morrisons hopes the move will stop millions of pints of its own brand milk from being thrown away every year. Picture: Morrisons.

Ian Goode, senior Milk Buyer at Morrisons, said: “Wasted milk means wasted effort by our farmers and unnecessary carbon being released into the atmosphere.

"Good quality well-kept milk has a good few days life after normal ‘Use By’ dates - and we think it should be consumed not tipped down the sink.

"So we’re taking a bold step today and asking customers to decide whether their milk is still good to drink.

"Generations before us have always used the sniff test - and I believe we can too.”