A Cross Party Group on Small Shops has met to explore the impact of high fat, salt and sugar restrictions (HFSS) on local shops across Wales.

Chaired by Vikki Howells MS and attended by a number of members of the Senedd and representatives from independent retail trade associations, the group discussed proposals to introduce similar legislation surrounding the sale of HFSS products to that in England.

The Welsh Government’s proposals are similar to the regulations that have been introduced in England on HFSS products, but there are a number of differences, these include:

· Restrict ‘temporary price reductions’ of HFSS products and meal deals including HFSS products

· Restrict the siting of HFSS products on ‘free standing display units’ in addition to at store entrances, at the tills, and at the end of aisles

· Views on how to define HFSS products, via potentially differing nutrient profiling models

The Welsh government plans to follow the approach taken in England to apply the HFSS location restrictions to stores 185.8 square metres (2,000 square feet).

The potential impact on convenience stores, the differing restrictions between England and Wales, and what support is needed by the retail sector was discussed by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS).

ACS government relations director Edward Woodall said: “We are pleased to have been able to meet with members of the Senedd to outline the impact that the proposed regulations will have on businesses, including convenience stores.

“Local shops in England have faced a costly and confusing time implementing the HFSS regulations and we are concerned that retailers in Wales will encounter even more confusion due to the differing rules. We will continue to engage with the Welsh Government to highlight the impact of these regulations on local shops and highlight the need for consistent regulation across devolved countries.”