ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has today signed a ‘Responsibility Deal’ with the Department for Health. It includes two specific pledges made by ACS on behalf of its members, which includes 33,500 local shops across the country.
Chief executive James Lowman said: “ACS welcomes the move by Government to explore new and innovative ways of tackling public health challenges. Legislation can often be heavy handed and ineffective, the new approach exemplified in the Responsibility Deal is an exciting opportunity to do things differently.
“Our involvement demonstrates this approach is possible not only with big national companies but with a broad range of businesses. Local shops are at heart of communities and as our work with Change4Life has shown, if properly supported, can create positive change in the most deprived communities.
The general commitments in the Responsibility Deal are available at http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/MediaCentre/Pressreleases/DH_125101
- In local communities it will provide support for Community Alcohol Partnerships, which currently support local partnership working to address local issues, such as underage sales, and will work to cover alcohol related harms too
- ACS is committing to over 1,000 stores in local communities to transform a large number of stores to give prominence to and more space for fruit and vegetable sales, using C4L branding, by the end of 2012
Lowman said: “We are pleased to agree to financially support Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAPs). ACS has had a continuing role in CAPs since their creation and I am pleased to be able to demonstrate ACS’ strong support of the schemes. CAPs have proven to be effective in tackling underage drinking at a local level, through ending adversarial relationship between local businesses and law enforcers and focusing on partnerships that address the root cause of the problem.
“ACS remains committed to helping convenience stores, especially independents, to diversify their product offer and include fresh fruit and vegetables. We will extend our existing successful scheme and increasing the availability of healthy choices in some of the most challenged areas in the country.”