DoH widens Change4Life’s convenience store initiative

The Department of Health is planning a wider roll-out of its Change4Life convenience store scheme, a partnership with the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS).

The move comes as it prepares to increase the number of public-private partnerships to communicate public health messages.

The campaign aims to “boost the availability and promotion of fruit and vegetables in local stores”.

It is being rolled out to 11 stores in Norfolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire with further stores planned for London and the South East, the North West, Yorkshire and Humberside in the first quarter of 2011.

The expansion follows the initiative’s introduction in the North East, South West and the East and West Midlands earlier this year.

The stores involved – ACS members including Spar, Costcutter, Londis and Nisa Local – will sell “a wider range” of fruit and vegetables and “prominently display” the produce.

In return, the DoH is providing funding for retailers to buy Change4Life-branded fruit and vegetable chillers, as well as marketing materials. Retailers will match the Government’s contributions.

The expansion of the DoH’s partnership with the ACS is in line with the coalition’s vow to increase the private sector’s involvement in public health campaigns.

A white paper, which will “set out a radical new approach to public health”, will detail how the plans will be achieved. Its release is expected shortly.

Announcing the collaborative approach in July, health secretary Andrew Lansley said that he wanted Change4Life to be “less paid for by government, more backed by business, less about costly advertising, and more about supporting family and individual responses”.

Lansley also promised to cut back on public spending and “fill the gap” with help from charities, the commercial sector and local authorities.

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