The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed 2021 the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables (IYFV).
IYFV 2021 is aimed at raising awareness about the important role of fruits and vegetables in human nutrition, food security and health — with an appeal to improve healthy and sustainable food production through innovation and technology and to reduce food loss and waste.
The FAO Director-General has noted that food loss and waste in the fruits and vegetables sector is a problem with considerable consequences, and that “innovative technologies and approaches are of critical importance”, as “they can help maintaining safety and quality, increasing the shelf life of fresh produce items and preserving their high nutritional value.”
Visit the IYFV 2021 website here.
The website shares the following objectives of the IYFV 2021:
- Raising awareness of and directing policy attention to the nutrition and health benefits of fruits and vegetables consumption;
- Promoting diversified, balanced, and healthy diets and lifestyles through fruits and vegetables consumption;
- Reducing losses and waste in fruits and vegetables food systems;
- Sharing best practices on:
a) Promotion of consumption and sustainable production of fruits and vegetables that contributes to sustainable food systems;
b) Improved sustainability of storage, transport, trade, processing, transformation, retail, waste reduction and recycling, as well as interactions among these processes;
c) Integration of smallholders including family farmers into local, regional, and global production, value/supply chains for sustainable production and consumption of fruits and vegetables, recognizing the contributions of fruits and vegetables, including farmers’ varieties/landraces, to their food security, nutrition, livelihoods and incomes;
d) Strengthening the capacity of all countries, specially developing countries, to adopt innovative approaches and technology in combating loss and waste of fruits and vegetables.
The IYFV website also includes a background paper outlining the benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption, while also examining the various aspects of the fruit and vegetable sector from a food systems approach.
Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption is exactly what Farm to Cafeteria Canada is working to do among students in schools across the country. In fact, our Farm to School: Canada Digs In! 2020 Report shows that farm to school programs, like our salad bar program, can help to greatly increase fruit and vegetable consumption among students. This is why it’s imperative to serve good food (and good food education) in our schools! We encourage you to learn more in our report here: http://www.