The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has welcomed the Mayor of London’s new Food Strategy which sets out plans to ensure all Londoners have access to healthy and sustainable food.

The new strategy recognises the role that convenience stores can play by increasing access to healthy foods in local communities and confirmed plans to work with partners, including convenience retailers to increase the acceptance of Healthy Start vouchers in stores.

Healthy Start is a government initiative to help pregnant women and children under four, who are in low-income families, to eat healthily by issuing vouchers for cow’s milk, infant formula milk, and fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables.

The strategy also calls on retailers in London to take part in initiatives such as Peas Please, which aims to increase consumption of fruit and vegetables and encouraged retailers to sign up to such initiatives.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We welcome the Mayor of London’s Food Strategy to increase access and availability of healthy foods and support the Mayor’s plans to increase the use of Healthy Start vouchers.

“We will work to encourage more convenience retailers to accept Healthy Start vouchers in-store. We also continue to work with and promote the Peas Please initiative to encourage retailers to stock more fruit and vegetables in their stores.”