Independent retailers across London have ramped up their fruit and veg ranges under a new scheme to improve the health of shoppers.

Some 17 c-stores have signed up to the Buywell Project, a scheme launched this week by Rosie Boycott, chair of the London Food Board, to increase the availability and affordability of fruit and veg in poor areas.

Shops involved in the project have agreed to stock at least 10 varieties of fruit and vegetables and display them prominently with Change4Life branding.

In return, the Buywell Project will work with each store to offer advice on maximising profits, minimising waste and displaying and promoting produce. The scheme is similar to the Department of Health's Change4Life pilot in the north east of England last year, when sales of fruit and vegetables in ­c-stores increased by an average of 40%.