The Fruit & Vegetable Consortium, a coalition of Australia’s leading health professionals, researchers and horticulture industry groups, is calling on governments, growers, manufacturers, retailers, health insurers, and all with an interest in securing a happier, healthier and wealthier Australia to support a long-term behaviour change by collaborating and advocating for investment in national marketing and education programs that will inspire Australians to eat more vegetables to live a healthier life.
Despite countless individual attempts to encourage Australians to eat more vegetables, just seven per cent of Australian adults, and only five per cent of children, are eating the recommended daily intake of vegetables.
The Fruit & Vegetable Consortium (FVC), whose member base comprises Australia’s leading health professionals, researchers, and horticulture industry groups, has developed a business case that demonstrates:
· Every $1 invested in a behaviour change program to increase vegetable consumption results in a $10 return on investment.
· If Australians ate 10 per cent extra vegetables every day (less than ¼ of a serve), there would be a $100 million reduction in health expenditure per annum.
· Australians eating an extra half a serve of vegetables per day would conservatively generate an incremental increase in returns to Aussie growers and supply chain partners of $634 million per annum, which is shared by all parties along the food supply chain.
· Increasing vegetable consumption will lead to improved health and well-being outcomes that drive reductions in mental and physical health issues, obesity and other illnesses, which will generate as much as $1 billion economic value after 11 years to Australian taxpayers and Governments at all levels.
· Every new job created in the Australian food industry supports an additional job in the regional economy.
The FVC has produced a video that highlights the benefits of a long-term behaviour change campaign to encourage investment from government and every sector with a vested interest in improved health outcomes and increased vegetable consumption to support this ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to positively influence the course of Australia’s future.
The FVC has recently appointed Justine Coates as Managing Director, with responsibility for leading strategic direction, garnering public and private sector support, fundraising, structuring of investments and delivery of program initiatives. Justine has extensive FMCG, food and agribusiness, health/wellness, and public sector experience – most recently as General Manager – Marketing and International Trade at Hort Innovation, and prior to that, across tier 1 corporate businesses, stakeholder and partner networks.
“We need to act now – Australia is now the 5th most obese country in the world and our health outcomes are not improving. We know that this problem is too big tackle alone, and there is increased momentum and support behind our call to arms,” said Ms Coates.
“Given the dire state of our vegetable consumption in Australia, and the potentially significant health and economic returns that can be achieved simply by eating more vegetables, The FVC has chosen boosting vegetable consumption as its first major focus. We need to engage households and communities with a program approach to lifting vegetable consumption.”
“The job of increasing vegetable consumption is a critically important task and is too big for any one business, jurisdiction or industry. Declining rates of vegetable consumption are of great concern, with the average Australian eating around 13 kilograms fewer vegetables per year than 20 years ago – equating to around half a serve fewer vegetables per day.”
“Our business case demonstrates that if we can in increase vegetable consumption by half a serve per day, we would conservatively generate an increase in industry returns of $634 million per annum.”
“The link between a healthy diet that incorporates vegetables and better health and well-being outcomes is well established, and it will take a coordinated, resourced effort to achieve sustained increased vegetable consumption.”
“The FVC is pleased to have marketing expert Justine Coates join as Managing Director. Justine has an intimate knowledge of the fresh produce industries and proven ability to drive outcomes, including inception, support and funding of ‘The Good Mood Food’ campaign, which increased intent to buy and eat more Aussie fruits, vegetables and nuts and increased awareness that eating good food benefits both mental and physical health – tapping into the widely discussed mental health issues that people of all ages have faced due to COVID-19,” said FVC Chair and Nutrition Australia CEO Lucinda Hancock.
“We are hopeful that we can work with industry groups, retailers, insurers, farmers, philanthropists and others throughout the supply chain with a goal to fostering support, collaboration, and investment that will drive healthier, wealthier communities, and make a lasting impact for generations of Australians.”
“Eating plenty of vegetables has never been more critical, so I urge everyone who has an interest in supporting the health of their families, friends and their communities to support the cause of the Fruit & Vegetable Consortium and see how you can help make a difference.”
About the Fruit & Vegetable Consortium
The Fruit & Vegetable Consortium’s members consist of Nutrition Australia, AUSVEG, CSIRO, the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Health and Wellbeing Queensland, Melbourne Market and VicHealth.
The FVC has also signed up over 200 supporters that have committed to supporting the development of more effective marketing and promotional interventions.