Seeking to create powerful new communication channels for a unified message to boost fruit and vegetable consumption, the Produce for Better Health Foundation is accelerating its multi-year, cross-sector Lead The Change Movement.
The non-profit’s vision for the future, first introduced to its board of trustees in January 2020, seeks to unify produce industry stakeholders and food system thought leaders to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, according to a news release.
“We feel that we’re in a great position, as a 501(c)3 nonprofit to lead this movement, which is really about connecting our industry to food systems thought leaders to affect change when it comes to consumption,” said Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, president and CEO of PBH. “I think now is the time to coalesce around consumption and to really look not just within the fruit and vegetable industry, but also outside of the industry and bring more people to our cause.”
With nine out of ten Americans not eating enough fruits and vegetables each day, PBH said a significant consumption crisis grips the health, culture and economy in the U.S.
The movement seeks, according to a news release, to develop innovative, behavior-based solutions that help people enjoy more fruits and vegetables for happier, healthier lives.
PBH was urged by its members to create a strategic framework for Lead The Change that bases the call-to-action in research and the strengths of the fruit and vegetable industry.
The Lead The Change Movement is designed to maximize the power of PBH’s unique thought leadership, widespread influencer network, credible scientific and consumer research, and its members and partners, she said.
PBH has commissioned comprehensive behavioral research to better understand challenges that have contributed to the fruit and vegetable consumption intention-action gap, according to the release.
That research shows that, while people know fruits and vegetables support better health, there is a significant need to inspire and change behaviors by tapping into how people feel about eating fruits and vegetables to effectively influence what they do.
The “Know-Feel-Do” behavioral framework now serves as the basis for all of PBH’s programs and communications, according to the release.
“PBH is perfectly positioned to convene the multiple stakeholders necessary to take action toward truly shifting the way people feel and pursue their health and happiness through eating more fruits and vegetables,” Bil Goldfield, director of corporate communications for Dole Food Company and PBH chairman of the board, said in the release. “Only then, will we be able to identify best practices and new opportunities that effectively improve fruit and vegetable consumption behaviors in a lasting and meaningful way.”
Lead The Change includes research, communications, and thought leadership platforms, including:
- One Purpose: PBH’s State of the Plate Research on America’s Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables, in addition to custom consumer behavioral studies, identifies and elevates new fruit and vegetable consumption behaviors as a national priority;
- One Voice: PBH has begun convening a multi-sector coalition of influential stakeholders, thought leaders and academic experts as an innovation incubator-type forum to identify ideas and inspire solutions as well as activate the Know-Feel-Do behavioral framework to help consumers act on fruit and vegetable consumption intentions. The release said PBH will continue to leverage its Have A Plant Movement, its extensive digital ecosystem and Fruit and Vegetable Ambassadors in Action to help consumers put these behaviors into action; and
- One Call-to-Action: PBH, in partnership with coalition members, will convene multi-sector food system thought leaders at the first-ever national consumption summit, to magnify the fruit and vegetable consumption crisis; build sector-based solutions; and generate a unified call-to-action for lasting behavior change. The summit will take place in 2022, to showcase research insights and coalition member efforts.
The campaign has a lot of promise, said Roger Pepperl, marketing director, Stemilt Growers LLC and serving PBH past chairman.
“We’ve all know we’ve got to get more consumption,” he said. “And what I like is the ability for (Lead the Change) not only to reach the consumer, but also to collaborate with us and other people in the industry in leading that charge,” he said. “There is so much to (gain) for your company.”
Pepperl urged more industry leaders to join PBH’s efforts and “lead change together.”
Reinhardt Kapsak said PBH and the Lead The Change Movement allows companies to build business now and also work for future consumption growth.
“Lead The Change is an opportunity to make sure that we are positioning every single sector within this industry and outside of it for success when it comes to improving fruit and vegetable behaviors among American consumers,” she said. “That is a very important evolution, I believe, for the industry to exert its ingenuity, its innovation and leadership for the public good.”
PBH has already raised close to one-quarter of a million dollars for research alone as part of the multi-million-dollar initiative. The release said that industry leaders that have made commitments to the Lead The Change Movement thus far include:
- American Beverage Association;
- California Avocado Commission;
- California Walnut Board and Commission;
- Chelan Fresh;
- Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc.;
- Dole Food Company, Inc.;
- Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Inc.;
- Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association;
- Juice Products Association;
- Kellogg Company;
- Naturipe Farms,;
- Produce Marketing Association;
- Seneca Foods Corporation;
- Stemilt Growers, LLC;
- Sunkist Growers, Inc.;
- Sun-Maid Growers of California;
- United Fresh Produce Association;
- Ventura Foods/Marie’s; and
- The Wonderful Company.
Registration for a June 4 web seminar on PBH activities is available online.