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Traders back healthy eating

PUBLISHED: 11:04 06 August 2009 | UPDATED: 17:00 25 August 2010

HEALTH CONSCIOUS: Jay Johal in Shergill Newsagents, Erith.

HEALTH CONSCIOUS: Jay Johal in Shergill Newsagents, Erith.

NEWSAGENTS have welcomed a government initiative to help them sell more fruit and vegetables. Last Tuesday, Health Secretary Andy Burnham announced plans to get more fresh produce into corner shops in a bid to encourage healthy eating. The shops will r

NEWSAGENTS have welcomed a government initiative to help them sell more fruit and vegetables.

Last Tuesday, Health Secretary Andy Burnham announced plans to get more fresh produce into corner shops in a bid to encourage healthy eating.

The shops will receive fridges to stock a wide range of fruit and vegetables, display posters and appoint a member of staff to champion fresh fruit and veg in store.

Bal Heer, 49, who manages Shergill Newsagents in Alford Road, Erith, said: "I think it's a brilliant idea. I have already decided I would like to be the fruit and veg specialist in the shop.

"I go to Spitalfield Market every Thursday to buy

good quality fruit and veg

for the shop.

"But I would like to expand my range and any extra help would be appreciated."

The initiative is part of the government's Change4Life programme and follows a successful pilot in the North East.

Over nine months, an additional 88 shops joined the programme and sales of fresh fruit and veg increased on average by 40 per cent.

Indira Patel, 48, owner of Newscentre in White Horse Hill, Chislehurst, said: "Yes I suppose it is a good idea. It is important that people eat more fruit and vegetables. It can be just as profitable as less healthy snacks. At the moment I don't have a supplier but, if I could find a good one, I am all for it.

"People are becoming more health-conscious and I think there will be demand for it.

"It might take time for customers to get used to it, but I think once they know they can get decent fresh produce at corner stores, they will go for it.

"It won't happen overnight though."

For more information visit www.dh.gov.uk/en/News/Currentcampaigns/Change4Life.

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