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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.