The annual Event of Freshfel Europe 2023 occurred on the evening of Thursday, 25 May, in the center of Brussels. It was centered around the theme of ‘A fresh look’ on fruit and vegetable. Revitalizing fresh produce for the consumption of healthy and sustainable foods. It also had top-quality experts from European Commission, WRAP UK, Trianon Scientific Consulting, Planet Tracker and the OECD.

The industry of fresh fruits and vegetables faces a variety of challenges related to climate change, inaccurate images of the products in the media with a decreasing consumption level. The annual gathering this year concentrated on the ways in which the industry can position itself to be at the leading edge of sustainability by demonstrating accountability and accountability to clearly showcase the many advantages and assets of fresh fruit and vegetable items.

Salvo Laudani, president of Freshfel Europe states: “We can’t afford to continue ignoring this issue. A few years ago when the pandemic was raging, Freshfel was a hero. People knew that we were an alternative to a healthy diet that has a lot of health benefits as well as less environmental footprints. Nowadays, the fruits and vegetables get more frequent depicted as negative, using misleading and inaccurate details about water usage as well as safety, quality and affordable prices being propagated through communication channels.”

One of the biggest perceptions in the present is that fruits and vegetables are now expensive due to the price hikes caused because of the intense inflation rate in the past year. Yet, according to Laurentia Laudani “Estimations taken from Italy show that by 2022, consumption of households was up by EUR446 and of that, the grocery bill was EUR35 and 10% of that was attributable to vegetables and fruits. So, the price increase for vegetables and fruits caused an increase by EUR3,5 per month or 0.01 cent per day to Italian families.”

Fresh fruits and vegetables are essential for the transition to a greener future and a major component in European strategies like such as the Green Deal, Farm to Fork, Fit for 55 and the EU Beating Cancer Plan. Participants at the conference highlighted the need to take action now in order to achieve these targets and also stressed that while fruit and vegetables are able as well as the potential to take the forefront in sustainability however, there’s still plenty of work to be accomplished.

Philippe Binard, General Delegate of Freshfel Europe commented: “Fruit and vegetables have an important role to play in the transition towards a diet that is plant-based and sustainability of food chains. However, changes to the policy put obstacles in the way to achieve this goal. The restrictions on the usage of pesticides and packaging, as well as efficient labels and inadequate actions that encourage innovative projects as well as consumption have slowed progress towards healthy fresh food that is sustainable.”

Freshfel Europe also held its AGM at where Freshfel Europe presented the Freshfel Europe 2023 Activity Report that focuses on the work of the Association during the time period from between June 2022 and May 2023, was handed out to its members. It is accessible on the internet here.

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The European Fresh Produce Association

Tel. : +32 (0)2 777 15 80