Slight rise in Europe's fruit and vegetable consumption, but level still too low, says Freshfel

Average fresh produce consumption in the EU remains below the World Health Organisation's recommended minimum of 400 grams per person per day, latest figures show.

fresh produce - image: HW
fresh produce - image: HW

The latest Consumption Monitor, published by European fresh produce association Freshfel, shows a 2.6 per cent rise in consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables to 382g per capita per day in the EU in 2011.

In the UK, average daily consumption of fruit in 2011 increased by 2 per cent over the previous year to 139g, but has declined by 2 per cent over the previous five years.

Daily vegetable consumption declined by 1 per cent in 2011 to 277g. Though this continues the declining trend in the UK over the past five years, the figure remains well above the EU average of 186g of vegetables per day.

Indeed the UK is one of just ten of the EU's 27 member states to exceed the WHO's recommended consumption.

Freshfel general delegate Philippe Binard said: "Although we observe a slight increase in the consumption of fresh produce, the long-term trends remain worrying and are characterised by stagnation or rather a decline.

The sector needs a collective effort of all stakeholders to stimulate the consumption, and operators from the private sector as well as public authorities need to join forces to remedy the current trend."

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