The establishment of bilateral agreements for the assessment of shelf life
The risk of food waste is related to the remaining shelf life of a product. To avoid food waste, the players in the grocery industry have agreed to exhibit flexibility in the value chain to handle minor deviations in assessment of shelf life. This is done by establish bilateral agreements.
Bilateral agreements will contribute to more flexible assessment of shelf life, thereby reducing food waste in the value chain (manufacturers, distributors, retailers), considering specific and specific conditions, such as geographical distance to customer / market, and volume of sales.
The grocery industry has defined a table for the assessment of total shelf life, based on a three-division between manufacturer, distributor and retailer / consumer. The table prepared for this applies unless otherwise agreed bilaterally.
For products with short shelf life (42 days or less), conditions such as distance to the market and volume of sales will be decisive for determining optimal assessment of shelf life.
- For products with shelf life between 17 and 42 days it is encouraged to consider establish bilateral agreements
- For products with shelf life below 17 days there shall be established bilateral agreements
How to establish bilateral agreements
The assessment of shelf life as stated in the table is the basis for the bilateral agreements.
All parties can initiate bilateral agreements based on expected potential for reduction of total food waste.
Description of how the risk will be shared should be included in the agreements.
Measuring consumed shelf life in the value chain is an instrument for securing facts and monitoring development.
Some examples of situations where it may be appropriate to establish bilateral agreements:
- Deviant date from the table
One example of reducing waste for products with short shelf life is that a supplier in the eastern part of Norway establish a bilateral agreement with a customer regarding a better date than is stated in the table for deliveries to, for example, northern part of Norway, while for example a customer in the middle and western part of Norway receives deliveries according to the table and with the possibility of deviating dates for smaller volumes for deliveries to the southern and eastern part of Norway.
- Divergence date in the beginning of the week
Products delivered at the beginning of a week is quickly reaching the distributor / distribution centre and the retailer before the weekend and is less prone to simple date deviations. Similarly, it is less appropriate to deliver products with “last day according to STAND” or with date deviations on Fridays, if they will not be received by distributor / distribution centre before Sunday evening / Monday.
- Deviant date for promotions
In advance of a promotional period, a delivery agreement with a few day date deviations may be applicable, as these products will have higher turnover than usual for the distributor / distribution centre and at retailers. To reduce the risk of increased drop by lower turnover than usual at the distributor / distribution centre and at retailer at the end of the promotional period, a better date should be provided than indicated in the table.
- Product / value chain specific assessments
Depending on the product / value chain, it may be advisable to redistribute days. For example:
Product with uneven turnover at retailers and / or a lot of waste at retailers.
Here it may be advisable to redefine days from supplier and / or distributor to retail days.
Product with steady turnover at retailers and / or a small amount of food waste.
Here it may be advisable to redefine days from retail and / or distributor to supplier.