Some food companies 'abusing' fresh produce benefits, says Freshfel

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Some food companies 'abusing' fresh produce benefits, says Freshfel

The European Fresh Produce Association (Freshfel) has called for a holistic to marketing for the sector, as more companies 'abuse' the health attributes of fruit and vegetables for their own benefit.

"Fresh fruit and vegetables offer to consumers a lot of benefits, with respect to nutrition and health or the environment for example. However, consumers are taking them for granted and other sectors are increasingly abusing the positive image of fresh produce for their own marketing purposes," Freshfel said in a release.

"Besides a robust, pro-active advocacy of these positive benefits, the sector needs to simultaneously promote even more the inherent properties of fresh produce, namely taste, texture, quality and the sheer pleasure of enjoying a fresh fruit or vegetable."

A Freshfel study in 2010 found that out of a range of products depicting fresh produce on their packaging, only 17% actually had more than 50% fruit content.

"Food products which try to increase their sales through taking over our image prove that fresh fruit and vegetables possess assets others want to have. It is important for our sector to further emphasise these, but as consumers take them more and more for granted, our sector needs even more to stress taste, texture, quality and the pleasure to eat fresh produce," says Freshfel president Ramon Rey.

"Freshfel will therefore embrace a truly holistic approach through the build-up of a strong and effective pan-european „Enjoy Fresh‟ platform. It is time for some fresh impetus, which will come together with Freshfel‟s 10th anniversary and be launched officially at the next AGM in June."

Freshfel general delegate Philippe Binard says many consumers are not aware of all aspects of fresh produce benefits, which calls for joint efforts to paint a more complete picture.

"Fresh fruits and vegetables offer everything consumers are demanding, however it seems they are not aware of all of these aspects or have unfortunately another image in mind. Joint efforts of the whole sector are therefore needed to rectify this incomplete picture consumers are having about our products.

"On a political level, Freshfel is currently in talks with the European Commission, looking for public policies that could influence consumers towards healthier eating habits and lead to a positive market environment for the fresh produce industry."

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