Cargills Food City, Sri Lanka’s number one supermarket chain, has joined forces with the College of Community Physicians of Sri Lanka to support the goals of Healthfest, a national action program to influence lifestyle change in Sri Lanka. The program also partnered by the National Nutrition Secretariat of the Presidential Secretariat, the Ministry of Health and the Department of Agriculture, and promotes eight health targets towards healthy living.
The College of Community Physicians has developed the concept of Healthfest in response to the increasing burden of Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) such as heart diseases, stroke, hypertension, diabetes etc.
The organisation notes that NCDs are mostly related to modifiable risk factors such as unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and tobacco and alcohol use that in turn give rise to the intermediate risk factors that lead to these chronic diseases. In response, Healthfest actively engaged the public towards eight health targets known as the Super Eight which was launched at a full-day festival on 17 November 2012 at the Viharamahadevi Park.
Of the eight health targets, consuming five servings of fruit and vegetables per day (approximately 400 grams of vegetables and fruits per day) is a key health target. Cargills Food City is partnering Healthfest towards promoting this healthy habit. Sidath Kodikara, Chief Operating Officer – Retail of Cargills (Ceylon) PLC said Cargills Food City is already promoting the consumption of fruit and vegetables through in-store communication.
“The targets of Healthfest are very much in line with our own responsibility towards health and nutrition. We already promote the consumption of local fruit and vegetables but our partnership with Healthfest would see this becoming a more focused engagement with the consumer. We will be prioritising the availability of exotic local fruit and vegetables at all of our outlets island-wide while promoting the Super Eight targets of Healthfest,” Kodikara said.
At the Healthfest launch on Saturday, Cargills Food City provided a chance for more than 400 pre-school kids to sample a variety of local fruit and vegetables towards building awareness on the nutritional and medicinal values local fruits and vegetables.
“In addition we also ran a full-fledged Cargills Food City stall with our entire range of local fruits and vegetables. Our representatives were there to share the importance of eating more fruit and vegetables that are sourced directly from our farmer network of over 15,000. Cargills invests a lot of time and effort with our farmers to ensure that fresh produce reaches outlets at optimum quality condition so that their best nutritional value is passed on to the consumer through advanced agricultural and post-harvest practices,” Keerthi Gunasekara, General Manager- Retail Operations of Cargills said.
Pravin David, General Manager – Retail Marketing of Cargills added that in addition the stall featured a collection of healthy food items manufactured by Cargills. “Cargills FMCG brands such as Kist, Kotmale, Magic and Bonlacare showcased their healthy range to further educate consumers on the option of choosing a healthier lifestyle on your way home with Cargills Food City supermarkets.
“Our mission is to reduce the cost of living and enable Sri Lankans anywhere in the island to enjoy better access to affordable nutrition. Our partnership with Healthfest further augments this commitment,” David added.
Kist displayed its latest ‘Absolute Juice’ range which is 100% juice and is to be launched to the market shortly, while the Kotmale dairy range and the Magic healthy sugar-free ice cream range was available for public awareness and purchase at the Cargills Food City stall as well.