100 businesses pledge to increase vegetable consumption across the UK
The Peas Please project, which works to make vegetables more appealing, accessible and affordable for everyone, now has 100 major businesses pledgers signed up. Since the project launched three years ago it has delivered 162 million additional portions of vegetables into our food system working across all four nations.
This represents 80% of UK retailers now committing to major initiatives to help drive up vegetable consumption across the UK. The ambitious targets for veg sales and procurement are vital to increase vegetable consumption and is a main focus of the work of the Food Foundation and partners Food Sense Wales, Nourish Scotland and Food NI in the lead up to the United Nations Food Systems Summit in September and COP26 in November. It shows a real commitment from retailers and food businesses to move towards clear and transparent reporting on vegetable sales which is seen as a vital part of transforming the food system to be more sustainable and provide healthy food for everyone.
The retailer and food business pledges include:
|Waitrose||Has confirmed a new SMART target for the amount of veg in its ready meals and will be reporting back on veg portions for the first time. Veg will also be promoted in the main meal recipes in Waitrose magazines and newspaper. Waitrose plans to inspire customers by championing veg through events, Cookery Schools and in-store activities.|
|Tesco||66% of its ready meal range will contain at least one portion of veg.|
|Mars Food||Committed to sell 450 million portions of veg through its products including the Dolmio range by June 2023.|
|Lidl||A strengthened commitment to promote veg and drive up sales with new transparent reporting of sales of veg.|
|Sainsbury’s||A new commitment to report on sales of vegetables as a proportion of total sales volume.|
|Henderson’s Group||Has renewed its commitment to increase sales of vegetables by 5% year on year, in addition to sourcing 75% of produce from local suppliers, farmers and growers. A range of promotional activities will be regularly communicated to shoppers via its network of 470 SPAR, EUROSPAR, & VIVO stores in Northern Ireland.|
|Co-op||Will help customers eat more veg through Co-op products and through communications. Will look for opportunities to increase veg through reformulation as well as developing new products with 5 a day claims. Will use communication channels to inspire customers to eat more veg by providing delicious recipes with a new focus on promoting seasonal veg.|
|Association of Convenience Stores||New commitment to support communication of the Healthy Start scheme to promote uptake of the new £4.10 vouchers available to vulnerable families.|
|Mash Direct||A new commitment to continue to support farming and veg production in Northern Ireland, including a Grow Your Own campaign to encourage consumers to grow their own fresh veg or herbs themselves and to ensure that any surplus veg produced by Mash Direct is diverted to charities.|
The 99th and 100th Pledgers to sign up to the initiative are Ulster University Business School and the University of Stirling who will be serving and promoting vegetables to their students to increase consumption. This is vitally important as a reported 95% of teenagers currently do not eat enough veg, according to The Peas Please project.
Blackpool Catering services has also pledged to increase the amount of veg served across its portfolio by 10% and Swperbox in Wales is the first meal kit delivery service to sign up to Peas Pleas with a pledge to include at least two portions of veg in every meal.
The renewed pledges follow five Peas Please pledgers (Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Co-op and Lidl) committing to add value to the government’s Healthy Start voucher scheme as part of supporting the Marcus Rashford End Child Food Poverty Taskforce and their Peas Please commitments. In total, seven UK retailers added value to the voucher scheme for young pregnant women and low income families with children aged under four, offering coupons or topping up the value of the vouchers for fruit and veg and other essentials in the interim period before the value increased this April.
|Time period of offer|
|Coop||Adding £1||When a HS voucher is redeemed, an additional £1 credit will be automatically added by the till system against that transaction for each voucher redeemed.|
England, Wales and Northern Ireland
17 December 2020 onwards
|Tesco||Adding £1||Healthy Start: When vouchers are redeemed recipients will automatically receive a till receipt coupon for £1 to redeem on their next shop when £1 is spent on fresh or frozen fruit and veg.|
Best Start: upon presentation of the Best Start card and identification by recipients at the checkout, staff will scan a coupon remove £1 if they have spent £1 or more on fresh or frozen veg.
England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
16 November 2020 – 31 March 2021 (19 weeks)
|Lidl||Adding £1.15||If customers spend £4.25 or more on HS foods once their £3.10 voucher is scanned they will automatically receive £4.25 off their basket.|
England and Wales
4 January 2021 to 4 April 2021 (4 months)
|Sainsbury’s||£2 vouchers to redeem on fruit and veg||Coupons are automatically issued at the checkout when a HS voucher is redeemed. These are money off coupons redeemable against future F&V purchases to the value of £2.|
15 Feb 2021 until 9 May 2021 (12 weeks)
|Waitrose||The supermarket will increase voucher value from £3.10 to £4.60 (£1.50 top-up).||Customers present their vouchers at the checkout where the supermarket will automatically increase their value. The vouchers can be spent on healthy foods, including fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables.|
England, Scotland, Wales
From 3 February 2021 until April (tbc)
This year’s Annual Veg Summit will be held on the week of 14 June 2021.