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Europeans still not eating enough fruit and veg, warns Freshfel

mixed fruit veg - Edited

The latest edition of the Freshfel Consumption Monitor shows consumption in the EU-28 stands at 341.82 g/capita/day of fresh fruit and vegetables in 2013. That’s up slightly – by 5.6% – on 2012, but down 1.9% on the average for the last five years (2008-2012).

But moreoever, EU-28 consumption remains under the minimum threshold recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) of 400 g of fruit and vegetables a day.

In a press release, Freshfel – the European Fresh Produce Association – also said out of the 28 Member States of the European Union, only six are able to meet this level of consumption.

Fruit consumption up 10% on last year, but down 1.5% on average for last five years

While the average aggregate consumption of fruit of vegetables in the EU stands at 341.81 g/day in 2013, fruit consumption reached 188.60 g/capita/day. This is 10.1% more than in 2012, but still 1.5% less than the average of the years 2008-2012. In regard to vegetables, the per capita consumption in 2013 stands at 153.22 g/capita/day, corresponding to an increase of 0.5% compared with 2012 and of 2.3% compared with the average of the previous five years.

Freshfel general delegate Philippe Binard said that the moderate increase in 2013 is a positive signal, but the market and economic situation in 2015 remains challenging for different reasons. “The continuous low consumption makes it urgent to continue to stimulate fresh fruit and vegetable consumption,” he said.

Call for efficient EU tools

Freshfel said it remains adamant in its demand for a coherent EU policy to enhance healthy eating habits for European consumers, including a resourceful and flexible fruit and vegetables school scheme, and a reinforced EU promotion policy for agricultural products.

“While the consumers are usually aware of the multiple benefits and assets of fresh fruit and vegetables, they unfortunately do not convert this knowledge into concrete consumption decisions. Efficient EU tools could help filling this gap,” Binard said.

Freshfel Europe encourages the sector to move forward and highlight the unique features of fresh produce, such freshness, diversity, taste but also fun, pleasure, and convenience. Freshfel is also committed to obtaining better knowledge of the European consumers to better match their expectations,

The Freshfel Consumption Monitor analyses the production, trade and consumption trends for fresh fruit and vegetables in the EU-28.

Read more here.

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Spain’s 5 al día targets future fruit & veg consumers


Spain’s 5 al día (5 a day) association – which promotes daily fruit and vegetable consumption – put increased focus on creating healthy food habits among children last year.

At its annual general meeting in Madrid last week the non-profit presented figures showing fruit and vegetable consumption in Spain is below that recommended by the World Health Organisation. WHO advises at least 600g/person/day but current consumption in Spain averages just 400g, it said, and it is the country’s over-50s population that eats the most fruit.

“That’s why, in 2014 we put special emphasis on creating healthy consumption habits among children, the consumers of tomorrow, in the actions and promotions carried out by the association,” said 5 al día director Nuria Martínez Barea.

Among such initiatives, the non-profit organisation has developed a play for children titled “The Magic of Fruit and Vegetable” (“La Magia de Las Frutas y Hortalizas” in Spanish) and is rolling out the Frutoteca, a fruit and vegetable learning centre designed for children.


It has also developed various TV spots featuring children, held competitions, and has a school programme that last year reached 332 education centres and more than 70,000 children.

According to 5 al día, the latest data from the Spanish Government’s Consumer Food Panel shows:

Average annual per capita household consumption
Fruit 101 kg
Vegetables 63 kg
Potato 23 kg
Total fruit and vegetables 187 kg

It said Spain produces more than 24 million tons of fruit and vegetables – making it Europe’s second biggest fruit and vegetable grower and the sixth biggest globally.