Hockessin, Del. -
Today, Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) announces that it has been approved as a National Strategic Partner with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and relays its immediate and long-term plans to support USDA’s new MyPlate communications initiative, released last week to depict the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. A key message is to “make half your plate fruits and vegetables.” PBH has been relaying this message to consumers since the launch of Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® in 2007 and will enhance its efforts to convey this message to all Americans.
“The new USDA MyPlate dovetails nicely with Fruits & Veggies—More Matters in that the plate shows consumers the proportion of fruits and vegetables in relation to other foods, and Fruits & Veggies—More Matters provides inspiration, tips, information, and other types of interactive support to make it come to life for consumers.” says Elizabeth Pivonka, president and CEO of Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), the nonprofit entity in partnership with CDC behind the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters national public health initiative. “Since we have and will continue to support the consumption of 100 percent juice as well as fresh, frozen, dried, and canned fruits and vegetables, consistent with the dietary guidelines, we are the perfect organization within the fruit and vegetable industry to provide tools and resources directly to the consumer regarding the ‘half your plate’ message.”
“PMA is extremely pleased to see the USDA add the weight of its credibility and simplicity of its message to the great work being done by PBH to drive consumer consumption of fruits and vegetables,” said Bryan Silbermann, president and CEO of Produce Marketing Association. “The MyPlate graphic is a wonderful new tool to support the ongoing and essential work of PBH to encourage the changes in eating behavior we’ve championed for the past two decades.”
USDA will emphasize the “make half your plate fruits and vegetables” message September through December, but PBH is committed to keeping the message alive and strong well after the end of this year.
“Our intent at PBH is to play up the ‘half your plate’ message well beyond this year’s emphasis, but in the short term we are working with USDA to support the message to the consumer in a variety of ways,” says Pivonka. The outreach plan includes:
- Motivating consumers to change their plates through a “Half My Plate Makeover” contest, promoted through social media channels. Beginning in September, consumers will be encouraged to join our contest and upload a photo of their plate to the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters Facebook contest page. Contest participants will receive coupons for fruits and veggies and be entered to randomly win free grocery gift cards. Industry members can support the contest with coupons and by encouraging their employees, family, and consumers to participate in the contest. To make it easy for you, simply follow Fruits & Veggies-More Matters on Facebook or Twitter to “like” or “retweet” appropriate consumer messages.
- Providing guidance and inspiration by showcasing “real food” plate makeovers on Facebook, on our websites, and via consumer press releases every week starting late summer. The examples will show consumers how easy it is to make simple switches that don’t cost too much and provide better nutrition, as well as what “half your plate” looks like for meals, snacks, mixed dishes, and while eating on the go.
- Encouraging consumers to pledge to make “half your plate” fruits and veggies by joining the America’s More Matters pledge.
- Helping consumers to make half their plate fruits and vegetables by sharing ideas and tools on our websites, through our e-newsletters and social media channels, and other communication efforts. Follow PBH and Fruits & Veggies—More Matters on Facebook and Twitter to stay abreast of these efforts.
Longer-term plans include:
- Conducting women’s magazine desk-side briefings with press kits of “half your plate” real food photos, recipes, and costs.
- Replacing MyPyramid with MyPlate in PBH education materials and including “half your plate” messaging and “real food” half plate photos in new educational materials starting with the January 2012 catalog, continuing with future catalogs.
- Publication of a consumer book featuring “half my plate” real food photos and links to www.ChooseMyPlate.gov and www.FruitsandVeggiesMoreMatters.org.
“AFFI values PBH’s outreach to consumers, particularly the inclusion of frozen fruits and vegetables in the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters campaign. PBH’s use of the half your plate message further compliments the ‘all forms count’ message that is expected from AFFI’s members,” says Kraig Naasz, president and CEO of the American Frozen Food Institute.
Rich Tavoletti, Director of the Canned Food Alliance, further adds, “We rely on PBH to support canned fruits and vegetables and look forward to continuing to work with them to show consumers how canned fruits and vegetables fit on the plate.”
Today, more than ever, the industry needs to join together to grow the consumption of fruits and vegetables to improve the health of the population in the U.S. “Produce for Better Health Foundation is the organization that can help us get there. PBH gives us a solid foundation to accomplish our goals, but it only truly works when industry members get involved,” says Roger Pepperl, Marketing Director for Stemilt and PBH Chairman of the Board, “Due to the economy many of us need to closely review and validate all expenses. The half the plate message and PBH ‘owning’ the message provides all the justification we need.”
### About Produce for Better Health Foundation
Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) fruit and vegetable education foundation. Since 1991, PBH has worked to motivate people to eat more fruits and vegetables to improve public health. PBH achieves success through industry and government collaboration, first with the 5 A Day program and now with the Fruits & Veggies-More Matters public health initiative. Fruits & Veggies-More Matters is the nation's largest public-private, fruit and vegetable nutrition education initiative with Fruit and Vegetable Nutrition Coordinators in each state, territory and the military. To learn more, visit www.PBHFoundation.org
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PBH is also a member and co-chair with Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) of the National Fruit & Vegetable Alliance (NFVA), consisting of government agencies, non-profit organizations, and industry working to collaboratively and synergistically achieve increased nationwide access and demand for all forms of fruits and vegetables for improved public health. To learn more, visit www.NFVA.org