The Co-operative Group has pledged to keep the price of its healthy eating range in line with its standard offer in the "most radical sustainability programme in UK corporate history", it claims.

Unveiling its Ethical Operating Plan this week, and promising a new ad campaign next month to rival its Blowin' in the Wind spectacular, the society promised products from its low-fat ready meals range, Healthier Choice, would be no more expensive than standard equivalent lines.

The Co-op Group was already charging the same price for the ranges but was publicly declaring it for the first time. It also claimed to be the first retailer to make such a commitment in a CSR report.

Retailers generally charge more for healthier lines. Sainsbury's and Tesco, for example, both charge £1.67 for a 400g beef lasagne in their health range, against £1 for their standard range. Asda, however, charges £1 for both products.

"We are determined to make it easier to make healthier food and lifestyle choices," said Co-op Group CEO Peter Marks.

In a further commitment, The Co-op Group said it would also ensure the nutritional content of its value range Simply Value was "at least as good" as its standard equivalent range.

The society made 47 pledges in total, including promising to use Fairtrade- certified goods for 90% of the primary commodities sourced from the developing world by 2013, and as revealed by The Grocer last year to increase membership to 20 million by 2020.

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The Co-op names Allen's replacement as marketing director (19 January 2011)