Health Stores UK unveils General Election Checklist   

Health Stores UK has created a pledge card-style General Election Checklist to highlight the vital role that health stores can play in improving the health of the nation.

The ten-point Checklist summarises public health and business support priorities for the next Government as Health Store UK members see them. 

Unveiling the Checklist this week, Health Stores UK chair, Len Glenville, said: “Next month’s General Election comes at a crucial time for independent retailers. Latest BRC IQ data shows that footfall is continuing to fall and that many small retailers face an uncertain future. Politicians of all political colours have pledged support for local high streets but what we need now is concrete action, not more empty platitudes.

“At the same time, the UK’s health services are stretched to the limit as they struggle to deal with an epidemic of chronic ill health, much of it diet and lifestyle related. We believe there is huge opportunity to recognise and promote health food stores as national ‘health enablers’, providing a valuable resource in local communities across the country.

“With growing recognition of the Importance of healthy diet in the prevention and treatment of chronic disease, it’s time to recognise the role that health stores can play in improving the health of the nation.”

We will be sending a personal copy of our Checklist to the incoming Prime Minister and Health Secretary as soon as they take office. 


Public Health and Wellbeing 

  • Recognise health food stores as playing a central role in improving the health of the nation, working alongside NHS and public health services – and support accordingly 
  • Streamline regulation to increase access to a wider range of safe and valuable natural health products  

Ensure future regulation of supplements, herbals and nutritional food products reflect needs of UK consumers 

  • Appoint a Self-Care Tsar to promote the benefits of taking personal responsibility for health and wellbeing 
  • Formalise the connection between independent health food stores and the Social Prescriber/Link Worker network
  • Introduce lower rate of VAT for food supplements 

Retailer and business support 

  • Set zero or reduced business rates for independent health food stores in recognition of their contribution to national health
  • Take decisive action to level the playing field for small retail businesses
  • Ensure that all future legislation affecting labour and overhead costs for SMEs is SME appropriate 

Launch reinvigorated national ‘Shop Local’ consumer education campaign, explaining how shopping locally retains more money in local economies, provides more jobs, strengthens local communities and is better for the environment

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