Bruce&Clark Policy for Reducing Food Waste
Effective August 1, 2018
At Bruce&Clark, we are committed to reducing food waste. More than one-third of all the food that’s produced in our planet is either spoiled in transit or unnecessarily thrown out by consumers in wealthier countries. Food wastage has significant social, economic, moral, and environmental cost and it is up to each of us to help reduce this cost.
Understanding the Best-Before Date
Part of reducing food waste is by understanding the difference between a “best-before” date and “expiration” date to avoid the unnecessary disposal of food. Most of the time, foods that are past the “best-before” date go straight in the trash even though the food is still completely edible. According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website:
A "best-before" date, also known as a durable life date, tells you when the durable life period of a prepackaged food ends. Durable life means the anticipated amount of time that an unopened food product, when stored under appropriate conditions, will retain its:
- nutritional value, or
- any other qualities claimed by the manufacturer.
This information is usually found on the label with the words "best before" and "meilleur avant".
The best-before date indicates to consumers that if the product has been properly handled (stored under conditions appropriate to that product), the unopened product should be of high quality until the specified date.
Best-before dates do not guarantee product safety. However, they do give you information about the freshness and potential shelf-life of the unopened foods you are buying.
It is important to note that a best-before date is not the same as an expiration date.
Expiration dates are required only on certain foods that have strict compositional and nutritional specifications which might not be met after the expiration date.
Expiration dates must be used on the following products:
- formulated liquid diets
- foods represented for use in a very low-energy diet
- meal replacements
- human milk substitutes (infant formula)
After the expiration date, the food may not have the same nutrient content declared as on the label. Food should not be bought, sold or eaten if the expiration date has passed. It should be discarded.
Is it safe to eat food that has passed the best-before date?
Best-before dates are not indicators of food safety, neither before nor after the date.
You can buy and eat foods after the best-before date has passed. However, when this date has passed, the food may lose some of its freshness and flavour, or its texture may have changed. Some of its nutritional value may be lost. For example, vitamin C content in juice.
Best-before dates apply to unopened products only. Once opened, the food's shelf life may change.
Please note that Bruce&Clark currently does not directly sell any products that have expiration dates.
To help prevent unnecessary food waste, Bruce&Clark will adopt the following policy with respect to shipping products relative to the product’s Best-Before Date:
Shipped more than 30 days before the best-before date:
- The product’s freshness and flavour is consistent with the manufacturer’s standards such that customers acknowledge that they cannot return the product just because the product is received “close” to the best-before date.
Shipped within 30 days before best-before date and up to 60 days past the best-before date:
- The product may have lost some of its freshness and flavour such that Bruce&Clark will offer a 40% courtesy discount on the product. Unless the customer informs Bruce & Clark to only ship products that have a best-before date greater than 30 days prior to shipment, the customer acknowledges that it will accept the product but is entitled to the 40% courtesy discount.
Bruce&Clark will donate all products that are 60 days past the best-before date to various local charities.