Fresh Fruit and Vegetables (Deprived Areas)

Robert Burns – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:30 pm on 27 February 2003.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Iain Smith Iain Smith Liberal Democrat 2:30, 27 February 2003

To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to ensure the availability of fresh fruit and vegetables in deprived areas. (S1O-6541)

Photo of Malcolm Chisholm Malcolm Chisholm Labour

As part of the implementation of the Scottish diet action plan, wide-ranging initiatives are on-going at national and local level to improve access to and availability of fruit and vegetables in deprived communities. The Scottish community diet project has a specific remit to work with low-income communities to address the practical obstacles to healthy eating. On 19 February, we announced the introduction of nutritional standards for school meals and additional free fruit in school for all primary 1 and 2 children.

Photo of Iain Smith Iain Smith Liberal Democrat

Is the minister aware of a recent study of a town in England that revealed that 90 per cent of households were within 0.5km of a shop selling crisps and Coca-Cola, whereas only 20 per cent were within 0.5km of a shop selling fruit or vegetables? What effort is the Scottish Executive making to increase the availability of healthy food in such areas? For example, has it considered schemes such as the one that is run by a local medical centre in Liverpool, in which pieces of fruit are sold at 10p because of the lack of local shops selling fresh fruit?

Photo of Malcolm Chisholm Malcolm Chisholm Labour

Access to fruit and vegetables and other healthy food is of great importance. That is why the Scottish community diet project initiatives are so important—I am sure that members know of and support those projects in their constituencies, for which funding has increased. The Scottish food and health co-ordinator is active in spreading information about the ways in which the problem can be dealt with and is working with manufacturers and retailers. That is fundamental to our healthy living campaign, which the First Minister launched in January, and it is another important way of increasing the consumption of fruit and vegetables in Scotland.