In a move designed to tackle Scotland’s obesity crisis, eight of the largest food retailers, including Asda and Tesco, have signed a commitment to encourage customers to eat more fruit and vegetables.
The voluntary agreement has been arranged by the nation’s retail consortium and has been supported by the Scottish government. The retailers have agreed to implement up to six different initiatives.
They could choose to ensure that the price of fruit and vegetables remain affordable. They might also add more fruit and vegetables to their own branded products such as ready meals and soups.
Another of the initiatives the retailers can opt to strategically place displays of vitamin rich avocados and apples, in place of chewing gum and chocolate, to promote impulse buying.
They may also choose to ensure that a selection of ready-to-cook, pre-prepared vegetables is available to buy.
The other retailers that have pledged their support are Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Boots, Morrisons, The Co-operative and Sainsbury’s.
The Scottish Sports Minister, Shona Robson, welcomed the commitment that retailers have shown. She explained the by helping consumers make informed decisions about the benefits of eating fruit and vegetables, the commitment by the nation’s retailers can really help to improve diet and combat unhealthy weight.
It is hoped that the growth in the number of cookery schools offering cookery courses will also play an important role in helping to tackle the problem.
A spokesman for the Scottish Retail Consortium explained that the pledge that stores are making will impact how the promote, prepare and price fruit and vegetables. The affordable and practical steps should help customers to eat healthier diets.
The latest figures produced for the Scottish government suggest that almost sixty per cent of women and over sixty five per cent of men in Scotland are classed as overweight or obese.