Two Hull University Business School graduates have won Ministerial support for their campaign to banish VAT on healthy smoothie drinks.
Simon Long and Philip Benson have been actively involved in the healthy eating movement since graduating from the School and setting up Xing Health Ltd, which provides a range of low-fat and vitamin rich smoothies to students and school pupils across the region.
Currently lobbying for the high VAT on healthy smoothie and fruit juices to be abolished, the Xing team have received individual letters of support from the Secretary of State for Health, Alan Johnson and Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Ed Balls.
Simon Long said: “The 17.5% VAT rate applied to smoothies and other healthy eating options is an obvious disincentive for people to eat well. Especially when some unhealthy foods, such as the infamous Turkey Twizzlers have 0% added!”
Xing Health first discussed their campaign with Alan Johnson at the University’s Healthy School Meals conference last year. Mr Johnson was keen to hear of their initiative to ban VAT on healthy drinks and committed to doing everything he could to help them achieve this, writing first of all to Ed Balls.
The team continue in their quest to improve healthy eating and are currently looking for schools to team up with them to create smoothie stations on site. Pupils could be encouraged to run the franchises thereby involving them with healthy eating whilst developing a range of skills including business and maths.
Simon added: “School-based Xing stations would build on the success of the smoothie deliveries to schools that we have established in the local area. It is a much cheaper way for schools to give their pupils access to healthy and nutritious smoothies whilst encouraging entrepreneurial skills.”
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