New Zealand’s 5+ A Day Charitable Trust has thrown its support behind the growing call for a World Fruit and Vegetable Day. A celebration was held on 14 October to officially recognise the initiative.
Carolyn Lister, 5+ A Day trustee and principal scientist at Plant & Food Research, said a dedicated World Fruit and Vegetable Day would raise awareness of the role fruit and vegetables play in the lives of every person on the planet.
“Sustainability initiatives imbedded in a World Fruit and Vegetable Day will spark the kind of innovations and public events that create awareness and provide solutions to issues such as food security, indigenous crops and food waste reduction,” said Lister.
The proposal builds on the momentum created during last year’s International Year of Fruit and Vegetables, a United Nations initiative that brought together experts from around the world to discuss ways the production and consumption of fresh produce could be improved, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Lister said the mooted annual day of recognition would come at a critical time for world health.
“While we’re learning to live with the ramifications of a global pandemic and the increasing signs of climate change, communities everywhere need to re-evaluate the ways in which we nourish our people,” Lister said. “Our hope is that international leaders embrace the proposal to formally acknowledge our vital horticulture industry from seed to table. We want World Fruit and Vegetable Day to be an important part of the calendar every year.”