Global Coalition of Fresh Produce Calls for Measures to Safeguard Supplies of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables; Ron Lemaire, Robert Guenther, and Philippe Binard Comment
GLOBAL - We in fresh produce are responsible for the industry’s progress, and trade associations worldwide are working to ensure progress is made. The Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) and the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA)—both part of the Global Coalition of Fresh Produce—are two such organizations. The coalition recently released a report analyzing the current global trading environment for fresh fruits and vegetables, urging policymakers to support the sector.
“Our sector has shown great resilience in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and has guaranteed consumers’ access to healthy and nutritious products. But rising costs will ultimately be passed on to consumers in the form of reduced supplies and higher prices,” Ron Lemaire, President of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association and Chairman of the Coalition, said.
Fruits and vegetables serve as a critical element of the shift toward healthy and sustainable diets, as well as economic growth and job creation, a press release stated. However, challenges including substantial increases in costs, inefficiencies and delays in transportation, labor shortages, dwindling consumer purchasing power, and obstacles to international trade, have posed issues.
In the report, the coalition calls upon national and international policymakers to urgently implement a number of measures to safeguard the supply of affordable fresh fruits and vegetables.
“First and foremost, governments and international bodies across the globe should recognize fruits and vegetables as essential goods,” said Robert Guenther, Chief Public Policy Officer for the IFPA and a member of the coalition’s Steering Committee. “By establishing that fruits and vegetables are fundamental to the health of populations and an essential element in the shift toward more sustainable food systems, other measures can be unlocked to ensure their consistent supply.”
Philippe Binard, General Delegate of Freshfel Europe and member of the Global Coalition of Fresh Produce, also commented.
“By virtue of their health benefits and low environmental footprint, fresh fruits and vegetables are an essential part of the solution to global problems such as climate change and malnutrition,” he stated. “It is time to take action.”
As organizations continue to advocate for the vitality of the produce industry, keep a tab open for ANUK.