The Consumer Goods Forum Commits to Simplifying Food Date Labels Worldwide by 2020

The Consumer Goods Forum, a group of consumer goods makers and retailers including Kellog Co, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Nestle SA, and Unilever PLC, have made plans to re-vamp the food date label system to help reduce food waste around the world by 2020.

The plan includes putting standardized labeling in place that would use one expiration date for perishable items and one food quality indicator for non-perishable items.  The particular wording of the labels would be determined by the region of which the product is in.

Confusion over date labels has been a major issue in dealing with food waste. According to a recent survey from the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), nearly 60% of U.S. adults have discussed the meaning of date labels and 40% have had disagreements at home whether or not to throw away food produce because of date labels.

The Consumer Goods Forum also states that confusion over date labels on food products costs families up to $29 billion annually in the United States alone.

Any form of reduction from the consumer or manufacturer level will be helpful in curbing the 1 billion metric tons of food that go to waste annually. Reducing food waste is essential in increasing space in landfills and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

This, and similar, calls to action will prove to be important in the overall fight against global climate change.