Whitworths, the dried fruit and nut producer, has called an amnesty on fatty, sugary and salty foods in the workplace by encouraging staff at its factory in Northamptonshire to surrender their unhealthy snacks in favour of free fruit, nuts and seeds.

The scheme, which is set to run indefinitely, is part of Whitworths' efforts to encourage healthier lifestyles among its workforce, and works by providing staff with two healthy snacks in return for one unhealthy one.

"It is a brilliant way of helping our employees to live a healthier lifestyle," said a spokesman. "It supports the government's campaign for employers to invest in staff wellbeing.

"Research has shown that almost 7,000 deaths a year could be prevented if people substituted one unhealthy snack a day for a healthier choice."