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Retailers Pledge to Help Reduce Childhood Obesity

Media release

Embargoed until 7am, Monday 17 October

Retailers Pledge to Help Reduce Childhood Obesity

Retail NZ today announced that four of New Zealand’s largest supermarket retailers have joined forces to pledge their support and take action under the Government’s Childhood Obesity Plan.

"Retailers are keen to work with Government to support healthier communities,” says Greg Harford, Retail NZ's, General Manager for Public Affairs. “Foodstuffs New Zealand (PAK’nSAVE, New World and Four Square); Progressive Enterprises (Countdown, FreshChoice and SuperValue); Moore Wilson and Co.; and Bin Inn Retail Group have today all signed the Retail NZ Pledge on Reducing Childhood Obesity."

"In the pledge, retailers have signed up to support product reformulation; initiatives to support education; the provision of healthy choices; and the use of Health Star Ratings. Retailers will also ensure that they highlight pledge actions in their corporate responsibility reporting as well as committing to ethical and responsible advertising of food to children.

"While we believe that it is the responsibility of individuals to make their own food choices, retailers welcome the chance to work with Government agencies and the wider industry, to support initiatives which give consumers more information and education to make more informed choices about their food.

“Retailers have already been working in this space for some time; this includes cooperating with Auckland University public health researchers on a study on the relative healthiness of food environments and implementing the Health Star Rating on their private label products. The new pledge is a solid commitment to taking further action, “says Harford.

Mr Harford said that the door was open for other food retailers to join the Retail NZ pledge. "Collectively we want to work towards reducing childhood obesity and we expect that these efforts will have a greater impact over time, especially as other Government educational and support programmes start to appear in the public."

A copy of the Retail NZ Pledge on Reducing Childhood Obesity can be found at www.retail.kiwi/health.
ends

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