Asda has thrown its weight behind a long-running campaign for VAT on juices and smoothies to be cut from 17.5% to 5%.

The supermarket chain is to lobby government on the issue and yesterday launched a petition on the Downing Street website, led by president and CEO Andy Bond.

“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to cut VAT on 100% fruit juices and smoothies to the minimum 5% allowed by EU law to encourage shoppers to take the healthier option and achieve their 'five a day',” the petition states. It already has the backing of 139 signatures.

Asda said it would also contact MPs, health and nutrition workers, stakeholder, Asda staff and shoppers, to support the campaign.