The government has called on retailers, food manufacturers and the hospitality sector to make fresh pledges under the Responsibility Deal to drive up the number of people hitting their five-a-day fruit & veg target.

The Department of Health has written to companies asking them to commit to further measures including increasing the proportion of fruit and vegetables in food, and promising to keep a lid on price increases.

Retailers have also been urged to provide more information to shoppers on the benefits of fruit and veg - including frozen - and to increase locations for fruit and veg in stores to encourage impulse purchases.

The initiative was sparked by a report released by Defra in February, which found lower-income families in the UK were eating only 2.7 portions of fruit and veg a day and the average household four.

The government has already agreed to allow retailers and suppliers to promote half-portions of fruit and veg, contained in ready meals and other composite foods, as contributing to five-a-day (The Grocer, 30 July 2011).