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Should we close down our nation's dairies?

  • Opinion
  • May 18, 2016
  • Greg Harford
Should we close down our nation's dairies?

Last month saw the unveiling of a study led by University of Auckland academics showing that the majority of urban schools are within 800 metres of a dairy or fast food outlet. The researchers concluded that, as we have an obesity problem, councils should regulate retail outlets near schools.

Despite the “shock horror” way in which this was reported in the news media, the proximity of schools to shops is not really a surprise.  That’s because, in New Zealand, most schools have been built at the heart of a community, which is usually built around a cluster of shops.  That cluster might include a dairy, petrol station, or even a deli or a chemist.  These stores all sell a range of products from milk to flowers and other grocery items.

Given that we have an increasing problem with obesity, is it reasonable that the Government and local councils should step in to introduce new regulations on shops near schools?  Does it really matter if the local dairy is forced to close, or a new one prevented from opening?

I think it does.  It’s another small step on the slippery slope towards even more bureaucracy and regulation.  And the impact is much larger than it first appears.  What about the pharmacy and hardware shop that sell chocolate?  What about the petrol station that sells ice cream?  What about the café that sells milkshakes and slices of cake?  What about the florist and the garden shop that sell small bags of fudge?   What would our communities be like if we didn’t have small retail outlets selling a range of goods?  It would be a world without convenience and colour.


Do we really want to live in a world where what retailers are allowed to stock and sell is highly regulated?  I don’t think so.


Obviously, it’s really important that children are encouraged to eat well and exercise.  Education’s a really important part of keeping our children well – but it’s not clear that putting new regulations in place will make a material impact to healthy eating and exercise – which, let’s face it, need to be strongly encouraged at home and school.

There are examples around the country where schools are working with local shops on specific initiatives – in places like Otaki and Hamilton; some stores have voluntarily agreed not to sell to students in uniform.  More generally, most convenience stores sell fruit and bottled water as well as other options; products are being reformulated over time to become healthier; and the voluntary Health Star Rating scheme aims to allow consumers to make informed choices.

We live in a world where some schools have their kids sell chocolate as a fundraiser and allow lolly bags to be taken to school camps; Girl Guide groups sell biscuits; and families sometimes have dessert.


Education might be needed, but ultimately, banning shops from being located near schools isn’t going to solve issues about obesity.

This was republished from Retail NZ's blog
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Restaurant Brands turns 22

  • News
  • March 26, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Restaurant Brands turns 22

As it prepares to celebrate its 22nd birthday, the listed corporate franchisor foresees a sunny future for the three – soon to be four - multi-site branded food retail chains it manages in New Zealand.

Read more
 
 

Linwood businesses struggle in mosque attack aftermath

  • News
  • March 26, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Linwood businesses struggle in mosque attack aftermath

A group of Christchurch businesses are struggling to get back on their feet after the attack on their neighbouring Linwood Mosque. Photo: RNZ / Katie Todd

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Farmers account awarded to Clemenger Group

  • News
  • March 26, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Farmers account awarded to Clemenger Group

99 and Colenso BBDO have won the creative and customer experience business for Farmers. The win, after a competitive pitch, sees the advertising account return to 99 after a six-year hiatus.

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Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

 
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Hemp products go beyond the specialty shelves

  • News
  • March 25, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Hemp products go beyond the specialty shelves

Since hemp seeds’ legalisation for growing, manufacture and sale in November 2018, supermarkets have quickly pivoted to include hemp products such as protein powder in their health food and specialty sections, but the trendy ingredient has already found its way into mainstream product categories.

Read more
 
 

No longer just for hippies: Is hemp the next coconut oil?

  • News
  • March 25, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
No longer just for hippies: Is hemp the next coconut oil?

The Naturally Good Expo, held over June 2 – 3 in Sydney, will bring retailers, brands and practitioners together to learn about all things healthy, organic and natural. Among the topics discussed by industry leaders at the expo is the recent legalisation of hemp – it’s popping up everywhere. We asked John Leith of supplier Hemp Oz and speaker Susan Tapper of Holistic Marketing Healthy Sales for more information about this exciting new product category.

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Military-style semi-automatics ban announced

  • News
  • March 21, 2019
  • The Register team
Military-style semi-automatics ban announced

As of 3pm on March 21, a wide range of semi-automatic weapons have been reclassified under section 74A(c) of the Arms Act as requiring an E endorsement on a firearms license. This means they can no longer be sold to those with A-category gun licenses, and their purchase now requires police approval.

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