U.K. businesses make fruit and veg commitment
In the latest effort of the Public Health Responsibility Deal, the U.K. Department of Health is pushing to promote fresh, frozen, canned, dried and juiced produce in an effort to get consumers eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
New program signers this week include ALDI, Co-operative Food, Iceland Foods, LIDL and Subway. Efforts by the businesses to increase consumption include coupon deals, providing more shelf space for produce and better marketing.
Public Health Minister Anna Soubry said that the initiative to get the U.K. eating more fruits and vegetables comes as part of a larger effort to encourage healthy living.
“All of the major supermarkets have now committed to removing artificial trans fats and over 70% of fast food and takeaway meals sold on the high street have calories clearly labelled," she said in a media statement.
“This pledge is part of a wider government plan to encourage everyone to eat their 5-a-day, which includes our £10 million (US$15.9 million) investment in the Change4Life campaign and the 2.1 million children who receive a free piece of fruit or vegetable in school everyday under our scheme.”
Chair of the Responsibility Deal Food Network Dr. Susan Jebb explained that the pledges move beyond just informing consumers and provides them with the tools to live better.
"Only 1 in 3 people achieve the 5-A-Day goal and some still manage only one portion a day or less. It’s clear we need to move beyond basic educational messages and onto tangible action to support and enable people to boost their intake of fruits and vegetables," Jebb said in a blog post.
"We need many more companies to join our efforts and we will be continuing to press for further action. I’m convinced there are far more opportunities to reformulate composite dishes, to consider placement opportunities in store and to make vegetables an integral part of the standard price of a meal out."
She added that additional efforts to encourage healthy eating are still to come.
"Next year we will be reinforcing this work with a pledge specifically focused on reducing saturated fat and discussions to frame a new pledge relating to the promotion of food, designed to tip the balance of promotions in favour of healthier options," Jebb said.