The move is designed to reduce food waste and affects nearly 500 products including root vegetables, apples and indoor plants.
The supermarket is the latest retailer to scrap on-pack best before dates. M&S made the move in mid-July. In April, Co-op removed use-by dates on its own-label yoghurt pots while at the start of the year Morrisons ditched use-by dates on most of its own-brand milk.
Marija Rompani, Director of Sustainability & Ethics, John Lewis Partnership said: “Food waste continues to be a major issue, and in the UK alone 70% of all food wasted is by people in their own homes. UK households throw away 4.5million tonnes of edible food every year, meaning that all the energy and resources used in food production is wasted.
"By removing best before dates from our products, we want our customers to use their own judgement to decide whether a product is good to eat or not, which in turn, will increase its chances of being eaten and not becoming waste. By using up existing fresh food in our homes, we can also save on our weekly household food shop, which is becoming an increasingly pressing concern for many.”
“The objective builds on our existing commitment to help our customers reduce their food waste by 2030. By working with WRAP to bring this initiative to life, we’re delighted to help our customers play their own role in tackling this global issue.”
Catherine David, Director of Collaboration and Change at WRAP added: “Best Before dates on fruit and veg are unnecessary and create food waste because they get in the way of people using their judgement when food is still good to eat.
“We are absolutely delighted by this move from Waitrose which will help stop good food ending up in the bin. We estimate that removing dates on fresh fruit and veg could save the equivalent of 7 million shopping baskets of food from the bin, which is huge!
"There is loads more that we can do to tackle food waste together – for fresh produce it’s also really important to store it in the fridge, and knock the temperature down to below 5°C. WRAP found that apples last more than two months longer when refrigerated, and broccoli two weeks longer. Love Food Hate Waste can help with ways to avoid food waste, save money and fight climate change.”