Statistics out this week from Freshfel Europe show vegetable consumption by British consumers in 2008 had plummeted by 11 per cent while we ate just one per cent more fruit compared with the previous five-year average.
NFU horticulture board chairman Sarah Pettitt said: "Obviously this is disappointing news particularly because of the efforts that have gone into promoting the importance of fruit and vegetables in our diet over the past decade. What it means though is that we can't assume that everyone has got the five a day message, or if they have, they know how to achieve it. We must continue to innovate, in particular, showing consumers the different ways in which they can get their daily amount-on their cereal in the morning, snacking on the bus, tube or train on their way to work, or simply in a bowl on their desk ready to be eaten throughout the day.
"Consumers should know though that not only will they be doing something for their health if they eat fruit and vegetables regularly, but if they get their five a day the British way they will also be doing something to support our growers. The message from our Why Horticulture Matters campaign still holds strong - eating British fruit and vegetables is good for our health and also helps the nation's economy.
"So consumers can do their bit by looking out for the Red Tractor when they buy their fruit and vegetables so they know they are getting quality assured fruit and veg which is good for them but also good for British growers."