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Multinational food company Nestlé teamed this week with legislators, food company representatives, food bank officials, environmental advocates and academics today to support a joint undertaking in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to standardize date labels on foods sold in supermarkets. The goal of the proposed legislation is to lower food waste by simplifying product date labels.
The Senate and House bills, sponsored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) respectively, would override state laws and regulations on Food Code dating to create federal standards. If passed, the bills would do away with the inconsistent usage of such terms as “use by,” “sell by,” “best by” and “expires on,” which often leave shoppers perplexed.
"We fully support establishing federal standards to help food companies like Nestlé more clearly communicate with consumers and avoid confusion that leads to unnecessary food waste," said Paul Grimwood, chairman and CEO of Glendale, Calif.-based Nestlé USA. "Nestlé has already committed to achieve zero waste to landfill in 100 percent 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."
Added Grimwood: "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. 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."
Nestlé in the United States consists of eight main businesses: Nestlé USA, Nestlé Waters North America, Nestlé Nutrition, Nestlé Professional, Nespresso, Nestlé Health Science, Nestlé Skin Health and Nestlé Purina PetCare Co. Together, these companies operate in more than 120 locations in 47 states and employmore than 51,000 people. The United States is Vevey, Switzerland-based Nestlé S.A.’s largest market, with combined product sales of more than $26 billion in 2015.