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Nestlé Supports Legislation to Standardize Date Labels to Reduce Food Waste

Uniform date labeling standard will reduce waste and aligns with Nestlé’s ongoing commitments to improve efficiency and sustainability practices within its operations
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Washington, D.C.

Nestlé joined lawmakers, food company representatives, food bank officials, environmental advocates and academics today in support of a joint effort in the Senate and House of Representatives to standardize date labels on foods stocked on grocery store shelves. The goal of the proposed legislation is to reduce food waste through streamlining product date labels, which are confusing and lead to 160 billion pounds of food prematurely deposited into landfills across the country. The result has an economic and environmental impact that could be avoided by clearer date labeling practices that consumers can easily interpret.

The Senate and House Bills, sponsored by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) respectively, would override state laws and regulations on food code dating to created federal standards. Inconsistent usage of terms such as “use by,” “sell by,” “best by” and “expires on” creates confusion and therefore more waste as consumers try to decipher what is safe for themselves and their families.

“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 Nestlé USA. “Nestlé has already committed to achieve zero waste to 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.”

Nestlé’s progress towards curbing food waste includes:

  1. In addition to launching the global Nestlé Commitment to reduce food loss and waste in 2015, Nestlé joined other members of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) in resolving to halve food waste across our operations by 2025 against a 2016 baseline.
  2. Nestlé S.A. CEO joined the Champions 12.3 coalition, which seeks to inspire action and accelerate progress toward meeting Target 12.3 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  3. To date, 40 of Nestlé’s U.S. factories have achieved zero waste to landfill status, and the company is on course to meet its goal of 100% factories achieving zero waste by 2020.
  4. For more than 25 years, Nestlé has partnered with Feeding America, the nation’s leading hunger-relief organization, in the fight against hunger. As a Leadership Level partner, we have donated more than 110 million pounds of food and beverages in the last six years alone, the equivalent of 16 million meals annually.
  5. In the U.S., Nestlé has reduced its packaging weight by nine percent since 2010, creating efficiencies while maintaining shelf life of products.

“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,” said Paul Grimwood. “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.”

About Nestlé in the U.S.

Nestlé in the United States is committed to being a trusted leader in nutrition, health and wellness. Our diverse portfolio of food and beverage products provide nutritious options for every member of the family, including infants, toddlers, teens and adults, mature adults, and dogs and cats. Nestlé in the U.S. 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 Company. Together, these companies operate in more than 120 locations in 47 states and employ over 51,000 people. The United States is Nestlé S.A.’s largest market with combined product sales in the United States totaling more than $26 billion in 2015.

Nestlé is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2016, and we’re commemorating our legacy by honoring our past and rich history, engaging the present with our customers and consumers and looking forward to the future with our commitment to Creating Shared Value and Nutrition, Health and Wellness.