Katie Calligaro, Marketing & Communications Director
Produce for Better Health Foundation
December 14, 2020 – The Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) President and CEO, Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, will represent North America, alongside other global leaders, during the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables (IYFV) launch event on Tuesday, December 15, 2020.
The United Nations (UN) General Assembly designated 2021 the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables (IYFV), with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) serving as the lead agency for the year-long celebration in collaboration with other associated organizations and bodies.
“The Produce for Better Health Foundation is honored to work in collaboration with our global colleagues to celebrate the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables and commends the UN/FAO’s leadership in elevating the critical role of fruits and vegetables in both human and planetary health. Health is a top priority in the United States, Canada and around the world given the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with a viable vaccine, fruits and vegetables bring health, happiness, and hope to so many. We must work together to make greater consumption of the most healthful foods on the planet a sustainable reality,” says Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, Produce for Better Health Foundation President and CEO.
The IYFV launch comes as PBH prepares to launch its State of the Plate: Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in America research in January 2021. In addition, the 2020-2025 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans and corresponding consumer-facing dietary guidance are also expected to be released soon. When taken together, these three efforts, in addition to others, present an unprecedented opportunity to elevate new fruit and vegetable consumption behaviors as a collective priority for industry as well as civil society.
“Something must change if we want consumption to improve; the IYFV pronouncement serves to illuminate what PBH considers to be a global fruit and vegetable consumption crisis affecting our culture, society and economy as well as our health as global citizens,” states Reinhardt Kapsak. “The time to come together and act is now.”
PBH is proud to be a member of the Global Alliance to Promote Fruits and Vegetables Consumption “5 A Day” (“AIAM5”), a nonprofit forum of 39 national and international entities from 32 countries around the world, jointly working to foster the consumption of fruits and vegetables to reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and enhance global health.
PBH is honored to represent the U.S. as part of AIAM5 and recently signed on to the group’s collective declaration to advance the IYFV. Within the framework of the 9th General Assembly of members of the Global Alliance to Promote Fruits and Vegetables Consumption “5 a day” (“AIAM5”), held virtually on November the 26th 2020, attending 35 representatives from 26 national and international entities as full and collaborative members, from 22 countries, agreed that:
- AIAM5 members support the declaration in the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly of year 2021 as the International Year of Fruit and Vegetables (IYFV);
- Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, fruits and vegetables play a very relevant role in this regard, as they improved nutrition and health status due to its content in vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals, acting as protection factors for NCD and as cornerstone of the immune function; and
- AIAM5 is committed and willing to work eagerly to help their member to facilitate those countries where they operate to achieve the goals of the IYFV expected to have an impact in reducing hunger and poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, improving livelihoods, and contributing to better natural resource management for a healthier and more sustainable food systems.
For more information on IYFV and/or to register for the launch event (Tuesday, December 15th), click here: http://www.fao.org/fruits-vegetables-2021/en/.