Minimising food waste

Changing consumers’ mindset

Arla uses several tools to minimize food waste. One of them is to change the ‘best before label’ to ‘also good after’. Another is designing the packaging to make it easy to fold and empty.

Preventing food waste is a multiple task. Therefore, Arla does not only take action when it comes to donating the surplus food, we also use several ways to minimize waste at the consumer’s home. 

A good example of this is how Arla Sweden and Arla Denmark have changed the date labelling on milk cartons and other fresh dairy products from only stating “Best before” to also adding “Often good after.” In Denmark only, 92 million milk cartons had the date label changed in order to encourage consumers to smell and taste the products before throwing them out. 

In Sweden, the new labelling got widespread attention in the media by 180 published articles. Changing the date label on milk and yoghurt packaging in Sweden meant that Arla was able to communicate the message 340 million times to Swedish households. 

These initiatives tie directly into our commitment and contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3. This means cutting food waste at retail and consumer levels by 50 per cent, and to reduce it as much as possible in the rest of the food chain until 2030.  

Small changes in product and packaging design can also make a huge difference in finding ways to tackle the food waste problem. Other initiatives include: 

  • Designing packaging, which is easy to fold and fully empty.
  • Offering different package sizes to enable consumers to match their purchase with their needs.
  • Putting a lot of focus on how to maximize the freshness and shelf life of our products.