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Seven biggest food retailers sign Government healthy living deal

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Britains biggest food retailers have signed up to a full list of pledges being launched by the Government today (Tuesday) which aim to help consumers make healthier choices. The seven largest food retailers in the UK, all members of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), have committed themselves to every relevant pledge on food and alcohol in the Public Health Responsibility Deal.

The Responsibility Deal was co-ordinated by the Department of Health and has been led by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley. Other BRC members have added their names to pledges relating to their businesses as part of the new approach.

The promises include providing similar calorie information for food eaten out as is already provided for food in the home. Retailers are pledging to increase unit awareness on their alcoholic drinks and to expand their funding of local alcohol programmes. The BRC says the key factor will be the future involvement of other sectors, such as manufacturing and catering.

Food Director at the British Retail Consortium, Andrew Opie, said: The Responsibility Deal being launched this week is a significant development bringing together industry, the Government and campaign groups to help promote healthy eating and drinking habits.

Customers make the final decision about what goes in their baskets but retailers do a lot to help shoppers look after their own and their families health.

Retailers have pioneered healthy eating initiatives such as the introduction of clear calorie information on packs and the removal of artificial trans-fats. They offer customers thousands of healthy products to choose from and these are often included in promotions and special offers.

The next step must be more involvement from other sectors, such as manufacturing and catering. Its also essential that people can get good information and advice to put into action in their own homes. Its pointless retailers taking salt out of their products if families just add it themselves when they sit down to eat, for example.

Having a healthier population involves everyone playing their part. The Responsibility Deal is more evidence that the retail sector takes its responsibilities seriously.

 

Full details of the Public Health Responsibility Deal are due to be released by the Department of Health on Tuesday 15th March.

One of the alcohol pledges relates specifically to the on trade, for example pubs and bars, and is not applicable to BRC members.

The seven largest food retailers in the country, all BRC members, are: Asda, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsburys, Tesco, The Co-operative Group, Waitrose.

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