Grocer Gold Awards
Roger Grosvenor. Photo credit to Anglia Picture Agency.

The East of England Co-op has been named a finalist in The Grocer Gold Awards 2018 for its ground-breaking initiative to sell food after the Best Before date.

Held annually, the influential industry awards celebrate the highest standards and innovation in grocery retail.

The nomination comes for the East of England Co-op’s innovative food waste reduction scheme, ‘The Co-op Guide to Dating’, in the Waste Not Want Not award category, which recognises the most successful approaches made by retailers to reduce waste in their supply chain. 

Launched in December 2017, The Co-op Guide to Dating saw East Anglia’s largest independent retailer take the food retail industry by storm by becoming the first major retailer to sell products past their Best Before date. Products such as tinned goods and packets are sold for a nominal 10p for up to a month past their Best Before, although typically most are sold within days or even hours of being reduced. 

Roger Grosvenor, Joint Chief Executive at the East of England Co-op, said of being nominated: “To be recognised as a finalist among other leading retailers in the UK is tremendous and a fantastic way to celebrate the East of England Co-op’s 150th birthday. 

“Most importantly though has been the reaction from our customers, who have completely embraced the scheme and helped us save thousands of products and perfectly edible food from being unnecessarily wasted.”

The scheme has been so successful that the East of England Co-op has now rolled it out to include fresh produce, selling fruit, vegetables and bread for up to two days past its Best Before date, and cake for up to seven days, all for 10p.

The winners of The Grocer Gold Awards 2018 will be announced at a glittering black tie event, hosted by renowned impressionist and comedian Rory Bremner, on Tuesday 12 June at London’s Guildhall.

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About the East of England Co-op

The East of England Co-op is the largest independent retailer in East Anglia. It has over 230 branches across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire. It runs a wide range of businesses, including food retail, funeral, travel, Post Offices and investment property. 

The East of England Co-op has been serving communities since 1846, and is completely independent of the Co-operative Group. It is owned by over 281,000 members. 

Each year the East of England Co-op invests parts of its profits to support communities across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire. Its members can vote on which local projects to support each time they shop through their Community Token Scheme, which supports over 250 community groups each year. 

The East of England Co-op has received national recognition for its work to be the leading Dementia Friendly Retailer. In 2016 they received a Princess Royal Training Award and were named the Alzheimer’s Society’s Large Dementia Friendly Organisation of the Year.

The East of England Co-op owns over £100million of investment property in East Anglia. The 500 properties let to tenants generate income of over £7.3million each year. A programme of developing sites for income generation is in progress across the region. 

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