By Craig Stauffer
8 Februarie 2021

From the CEO’s Desk: 2021 is the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables

The United Nations (UN) has declared 2021 the International year of fruits and vegetables, and obviously we at Vanguard are totally aligned. On the heels of a year that challenged us all worldwide, getting back to focusing on the simple ways to live a healthy life is key. As Vanguard continues to rethink and reinvent how produce makes it’s way to your table from the field, it is exciting to see the UN putting such a strong campaign together to encourage people to choose fruits and vegetables first. “Fruits and vegetables are your dietary essentials” is the official slogan to mark the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables.

The Key Messages

 In outlining the year’s fruit and vegetable focus the UN has outlined 6 key messages:

  1. Harness the goodness

Fruits and vegetables have multiple health benefits, including the strengthening of the immune system, that are essential for combating malnutrition in all its forms and overall prevention of non-communicable diseases.

  1. Live by it, a diverse diet

Fruits and vegetables should be consumed in adequate amounts daily as a part of diversified and healthy diet.

  1. Respect food from farm and table

The high perishability of fruits and vegetables needs special attention to maintain their quality and safety through appropriate treatment and handling across the supply chain from production to consumption in order to minimize loss and waste.

  1. Innovate, cultivate, reduce food loss and waste

Innovation, improved technologies and infrastructure are critical to increase the efficiency and productivity within fruit and vegetable supply chains to reduce loss and waste.

  1. Foster sustainability

Sustainable and inclusive value chains can help increase production, help to enhance the availability, safely, affordability and equitable access to fruits and vegetables to foster economic, social and environmental sustainability.

  1. Growing prosperity

Cultivating fruits and vegetables can contribute to a better quality of life for farmers and their communities. It generates income, creates livelihoods, improves food security and nutrition, and enhances resilience through sustainably managed local resources and increased agricultural biodiversity. 

How the Industry Can Get Involved

There is a call to the produce community to share stories linked to fruits and vegetables to be published in the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables and Food and Agriculture Organization websites and to be used on social media, and with global media and events.

Stories can include:

  • A contributor in the private or public sector on the consumption of fruits and vegetables (a farmer, student, employee etc).
  • The benefits of eating fruits and vegetables to help people understand the ways consuming fruits and vegetables contributes to overall body health.
  • The production of fruits of vegetables and stories of people in the agri-food system.

We know there are many stories behind the faces of those who grow and cultivate our food around every inch of our globe. The entire Vanguard team is excited to see and share these stories as part of this International Year of Fruits and Vegetables.