Freshfel, the European produce association, has released its latest edition of the Freshfel Consumption Monitor. The document looks at production, trade and consumption trends in the European Union.
I asked for a full report to review for reporting purposes but was not successful. Fresh says the report is available to non-members for 500 EUR. Freshfel says interested readers can order the report via their website.
The Consumption Monitor indicates a gradual decline in fruit and vegetable consumption in Europe, according to a news release about the report. Unfortunately for Americans, the report speaks of the problematic “grams.” From the release:
The analysis of the latest available data (up to 2012) shows that the consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables in the EU28 stands at 386.96 g/capita/day in 2012. This is a decrease of 8.2% compared with 2011 and a decrease of 8.7% compared with the average of the years 2007-2011.
It means that consumption in the EU28 remains under the level recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) of 400 g of fresh produce per day. Out of the 28 member states of the European Union, 18 are below the level recommended by the WHO.
Per capita fruit consumption in the EU28 in 2012 stands at 167.62 g/capita/day. This is 11.8% less than in 2011 and 14.2% less than the average of the years 2007-2011. Per capita vegetable consumption in 2012 stands at 219.33 g/capita/day, meaning a decrease of 5.3% compared with 2011 and of 4.0% compared with the average of the previous five years.
Philippe Binard, General Delegate of Freshfel, commented: “The Consumption Monitor shows that fresh fruit and vegetable consumption in the EU has further declined in 2012. The low consumption makes it urgent to do more to stimulate fresh fruit and vegetable consumption. The European Union has just decided to increase the budget for the school fruit scheme from 90 to 150 million EUR, and the budget for EU promotion measures – much of which goes to fruit and vegetables – from 60 million EUR to 200 million EUR in 2020. This should provide more favourable conditions for promotion measures that emphasise the fun, taste and healthy aspects associated with fresh fruit and vegetables.”
Key findings of Freshfel Consumption Monitor
- Production in 2012: Fruit production in the EU28 decreased by 12% compared with 2011 and reached a total level of 32.5 million T. Fruit production was also 10% below the average of the previous five years (2007-2011). Vegetable production in the EU28 decreased by 6% compared with 2011 and reached a total level of 50.3 million T. This was 3% below the average of the previous five years (2007-2011).
- Trade in 2012: Fruit and vegetable imports from third countries into the EU28 continued to decline in 2012. In 2012, the import of fruit decreased by 3% compared with 2011 and reached a total of 10.7 million T. Compared with the period of the previous five years (2007-2011), fruit imports decreased by 9%. Vegetable imports into the EU28 decreased by 10% in 2012 compared with 2011, and reached a total of 1.6 million T. This was 13% less than the average of the previous five years. Fruit and vegetable exports to third countries continued to increase in 2012. Compared with 2011, fruit exports increased by 17% and reached a total of 4.0 million T. Vegetable exports increased by 8% and reached a total of 1.8 million T. Compared with the previous five years (2007-2011), fruit exports in 2012 increased by 39% and vegetable exports increased by 20%.
- Consumption in 2012: Net per capita fruit consumption stands at 167.62 g/capita/day. This is 11.8% less than in 2011 and 14.2% less than the average of the years 2007-2012. Per capita vegetable consumption stands at 219.33 g/capita/day. This is 5.3% less than in 2011 and 4.0% less than the average of the previous five years.
TK; The increase in the state-funded promotion budget for fruits and vegetables in Europe is good news. And though the recent consumption trend is not encouraging, falling just 14 grams per day short of target consumption levels doesn’t seem that tragic. Check out this European Food Information Council report on the geographic, north/south differences in fruit and vegetable consumption within Europe.
The report says household food data suggest fruit and vegetable consumption/availability of fruit and vegetables more than meets recommended levels in some Southern European countries. Northern European countries? Not so much.
Check out the FAO statistical database to compare food availability measures between countries.
The U.S. per capita availability data, expressed in the crystal clarity of pounds per year, is found at the USDA ERS website
Also look at international vegetable consumption per capita here.