SGF Healthy Living Programme
The SGF Healthy Living Programme was established in 2004 by Robert Wiseman Dairies with the support of the Scottish Government and the five main convenience store operators in Scotland at the time – Aberness, Botterills, C.J. Lang & Son, David Sands and Morning Noon and Night. The objective of the programme was to work with convenience stores to develop the range of fresh and healthier food options at affordable prices whilst focusing on areas of deprivation.
Following the tremendous success of the pilot scheme a business plan was developed to take the programme forward with sponsorship from the Scottish Executive. The programme continues to receive the support of the Scottish Government which recognises the unique role convenience stores play in supporting individuals and families to make healthier life choices.
Scotmid, Keystore, Premier, Spar and a range of other independent retailers are all working with the SGF healthy programme which has over 1,100 retailers involved. There are now participating retailers in every local authority and 70 percent of the retailers involved are located in disadvantaged areas. It is little wonder why the programme has been so widely recognised in England, Wales, Dublin, Denmark and Western Australia.
The key success of the Programme has been its ability to improve the access and take–up of affordable healthier food options, helping to drive forward long-term changes towards a healthier Scottish food culture whilst providing an economic benefit to retailers. Indeed under the SGF HLP retailers have reported some spectacular increases across the range of Healthier For You products including up to a 73 percent increase in chilled fruit juices, 43 percent increase in healthier yoghurt, 25 percent increase in bread and a staggering 600 percent increase in sales of water.
Staff training has been fundamental to this success and the SGF HLP team have produced a simple training guide that can be used by both individuals and groups. This complements the Gold Standard Brochure which takes retailers through the steps that are required to maximise sales of Healthier For You products. Indeed the Gold Standard has been recognised by the Scottish Government as the standard that they expect of retail shops in NHS buildings. In short, the retailer who wants the NHS contract must agree to implement the Gold Standard.
However, notwithstanding this success there is no complacency from those involved in the programme. We will continue to work to bring more convenience retailers on board, further develop effective and sustainable point of sale equipment, engage with retailers within the catchment areas of schools to provide healthier alternatives to local pupils and expand the number of suppliers signed up to the programme in order to widen the variety and choice of Healthier For You products.
The Phase 4 Evaluation of the Healthy Living Programme is now available to download. Other key reports are now available. These are: