Freshfel Europe calls for new policy approach to fresh fruits and vegetables

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Freshfel Europe has called for a fresh fruit and vegetables-in-all-policies approach in its presentation of its 2019-2024 priorities paper for the EU institutions' Fresh Fruit & Vegetables for Europe’s Future in the European Parliament.

Freshfel Europe, the European Fresh Produce Association that represents the interests of the fresh fruit and vegetables supply chain in Europe and beyond, wants policy makers to help stimulate a higher level of fresh fruit and vegetable consumption as part of an integral shift to a low-environmental-impact, plant-based diet to protect the planet and citizens’ health. Freshfel Europe indicated this could only be achieved through increased support for the sector in the policy-making agenda over the next five years across Europe and at all levels of government in conjunction with sector initiatives.

During the evening reception Freshfel Europe General Delegate Philippe Binard presented Freshfel Europe’s latest paper Fresh Fruit & Vegetables for Europe’s Future: Freshfel Europe’s Priorities for the EU Institutions 2019-2024 to members of the European Parliament working on agricultural, environmental and trade issues and high-level European Commission officials. 

“By helping better position the fresh fruit and vegetable sector policy makers will achieve forward-thinking coherent policy that will future-proof our planet and meet consumers’ expectations now and into 2030,” Binard said. “Fresh fruit and vegetables play a key role in Europe’s ambitions to protect the planet, provide healthy prosperous lifestyles to all and meet the Sustainable Development Goals. The beginning of this path is an ambitious and effective European Green Deal and Farm to Fork strategy that incorporates a fresh fruit and vegetables-in-all-policies approach”.

MEP Herbert Dorfmann opened the cocktail reception in the European Parliament welcoming guests and describing the importance of sustainable production in a modern world with a fast changing climate. Freshfel Europe President Stephan Weist also addressed participants, asserting that actors across the EU fresh fruit and vegetable supply chain will continue to collaborate to ensure that Europe reaches the WHO recommended consumption intake of 400g of fruit and vegetables per capita per day.

“21 member states are currently not reaching this with the average consumption at 348g per capita per day," Weist said. "The fresh fruit and vegetable sector must be prioritized in the policy-making agenda so that these nutritious products remain an essential part of European consumers’ sustainable diet”.

Freshfel Europe’s ‘Fresh Fruit & Vegetables for Europe’s Future’ paper outlines the role of the sector in significantly contributing to a low-environmental impact future for Europe and the good health of European consumers. The paper details specific policy areas to tackle over the next five years, covering the CAP, intra-EU and global trade, the supply chain, circular economy, plant health, food safety, digitalization and health policy, to ensure that Europe is a global leader achieving a triple-win for the environment, the economy and consumer health. Freshfel Europe’s full paper Fresh Fruit & Vegetables for Europe’s Future can be downloaded from the Freshfel Europe website here.

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