Working together for fruit and vegetable promotion
Each year, 2.7 million lives could potentially be saved if fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption was sufficiently increased. WHO and FAO are working together to actively promote F&V consumption over the world. A Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation recommended a minimum intake of 400g of F&V per day for the prevention of chronic diseases and for the prevention of several micronutrient deficiencies. Current data shows that for most countries, this goal is far from being met.
As part of the WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, WHO and FAO launched a F&V Promotion Initiative and as a result a Framework for the Promotion of F&V at the National Level was produced. Subsequently, WHO and FAO organized training workshops that bring together experts from agriculture, health, education and other areas to discuss the implementation of F&V promotion programs at the national level.
Because it’s a combined WHO/ FAO effort, this Initiative emphasizes the need to have cooperative work of various stakeholders towards the effective and sustained increase of F&V consumption. It is important that all stakeholders in different sectors (health, agriculture, education, development, food and beverage producers, catering, retailers, etc.) see F&V promotion as a “win-win” situation. All actors involved – from production to consumption – will benefit from the prevention of chronic diseases and micronutrient deficiencies that can be tackled through the increase in F&V consumption.
The author is a staff member of the World Health Organization. The author alone is responsible for the views expressed in this publication and they do not necessarily represent the decisions or the stated policy of the World Health Organization.