International Year of Fruits and Vegetables

The contribution of the European Food Banks Federation

The UN General Assembly designated 2021 the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables (IYFV).

FAO is the lead agency for celebrating the year in collaboration with other relevant organizations and bodies of the United Nations system.

The IYFV 2021 is a unique opportunity to raise awareness on the important role of fruits and vegetables in human nutrition, food security and health and as well in achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals.

fruit attraction

5-7 October - Madrid, Spain

The European Food Banks Federation was present in Madrid on the occasion of the international fruit and vegetable fair Fruit Attraction taking place from 5 to 7 October at IFEMA. 

After the official closure of the Fruit Attraction fair on 7 October, around 20 volunteers from BA Madrid and 82 volunteers from 8 charitable organisations came together to rescue an estimated 28,950 kg of produce, which the latter transported to their respective redistribution centres. Thereby, flawless, nutritious food could be saved from going to waste and instead supported 4,853 people in need.

International Year of Fruit and Vegetables
Promoting healthy eating

Tuesday, 21 September 2021 - Bucharet, Romania

On Tuesday 21 September the Department for Sustainable Development of the Government of Romania organised the conference “International Year of Fruits and Vegetables”, dedicated to sustainable agriculture and healthy diets, as well as biodiversity conservation.

The event was opened by Laszlo Borbely – State Counsellor, Coordinator of the Department for Sustainable Development of the Romanian Government, and was addressed by Nabil Gangi – FAO Deputy Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia, Adrian Oros – Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and Anastasia Alvizou – Deputy Head of Unit, DG SANTE, European Commission.

The first session discussed vegetable and fruit growing with researchers and agricultural specialists, organic and sustainable farmers and the second session addressed healthy eating through the promotion, marketing and consumption of vegetables and fruit, as well as combating food waste. 

Jacques Vandenschrik, President of the European Food Banks Federation, spoke in the third session and debateed about a healthy diet based on fruits and vegetables, about their recovery and redistribution to fight against food waste – together with experts in healthy diets, chefs, retail representatives and sector organisations. 

The objective to be proposed for the period of 2021-27 is to increase the recovery of fruit and vegetables in order to increase the nutritional value of food products redistributed by Food Banks and, at the same time, to promote innovation projects to facilitate the handling and extend the shelf-life of these products.

Fruits and Vegetables for human development: do not waste!

Tuesday, 7 September 2021 - Rimini

Macfrut Exhibition, Rimini Expo Centre

On the occasion of the International Year of Fruit and Vegetables (AIFV) proclaimed by the UN General Assembly, Italmercati and the European Food Banks Federation (FEBA) organised the conference “Fruit and vegetables for human development: do not waste!”.

The event aimed to offer insights and concrete examples of good practice on the importance of fruit and vegetables for nutrition and healthy personal development, starting from a child’s early years.

Thanks to distinguished speakers, the theme of recovering food surpluses was addressed from different points of view in order to increase cooperation with operators in the sector so as to ensure a consumption of 400 grams of fruit and vegetables per day as indicated by the World Health Organization.

400 grams of fruit and vegetables a day keep the doctor away. This is the recommendation by WHO in just one sentence. However, this is still a mirage for many Europeans, often children. At the same time 50 million tonnes of surplus fruit and vegetables are generated annually (University of Edinburgh, 2018). Today at Macfrut 2021, Italmercati and the European Food Banks Federation want to say that it is possible to change tack: reducing food losses and managing surplus fruit and vegetables for social purposes. This is our contribution to the EU Farm to Fork Strategy and the National Operational Programmes of the new CAP must have to refer to this too.

Food recovery from Banco Alimentare

On the last day of the fair, 31 exhibitors donated 2.5 tonnes of fruit and vegetables to Banco Alimentare. These fruit and vegetables were saved from becoming waste and immediately redistributed to 18 charitable organisations in Rimini and Pesaro, helping around 2,253 mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, and grandmothers.