I have met with Asda at a parliamentary reception to see what they are doing to tackle the obesity crisis and support school children understand how to live a healthier lifestyle.
The reception saw Asda shopworkers inform MPs of the outreach programmes they undertake to ensure that school children in their communities are taught about the benefits of health eating. This is done through visiting schools with fruit, vegetables and low-sugar products to show where their produce comes from and how they can live a healthier lifestyle.
Asda also demonstrated how they have been trying to reduce the sugar content of its products to ensure that it provides healthier products for customers. They also described how they are working with the farming sector to ensure that the products they produce are not wasted. This included demonstrating the new ‘wonky veg box’ which is being trailed in 100 stores so far and will be rolled out in the future. This stops farmers from having to plough back in produce which is completely edible but is slightly misshaped. By giving farmers the ability to sell this produce it not only helps customers by offering a cheaper alternative, but it brings down the cost on all produce as farmers are not having to try and recoup the loss of the misshaped fruit and vegetables.
It is important that large companies, such as Asda, take their social responsibility seriously and it was good to see that they are taking steps to help the wider community. Meeting with shopworkers who carry out the outreach programmes was the highlight of the event as they demonstrated with passion just how much the children and they get out of bringing healthy eating to life.
I also got to meet producers of the new ‘wonky veg box’. Not only is this a fantastic idea to help people cut the cost of their weekly shop, but also it helps arable farmers to recoup some of the losses that would have been made if the produce would have been ploughed back into the ground. The agricultural community work tirelessly to provide us with the top quality produce that we expect, but we should be doing more to support them during this tough time. I highly recommend the ‘wonky veg box’ and look forward to them being rolled out in Asda’s Flint store.