Fruit and veg consumption in EU28 fell 8.2% in 2012

The latest figures from the Freshfel Consumption Monitor show that in 2012 the consumption of fruit and vegetables in the EU28 fell 8.2% compared to 2011 and is 8.7% less than the 5 year average.

Freshfel Consumption Monitor analyses the production, trade and consumption trends in the EU28. 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 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.

While EU production and imports of fruit and vegetables have decreased compared with 2011, exports continued to grow by 17% for fruit and by 8% for vegetables. When compared with the period from 2007-2011, fruit exports grew by 39% and vegetable exports by 20%. Non-EU countries more and more compensate for the drop in EU consumption.

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. On its part, Freshfel remains active to foster a positive and efficient framework for generic promotion of fresh fruit and vegetable consumption under the guidance of the Freshfel Promotion, Communication and Image Committee. It also maintains dedicated websites such as ENJOY FRESH (www.enjoyfresh.eu) and KIDS ENJOY FRESH (www.kidsenjoyfresh.eu) and keeps them updated for the general public.”

Main findings of the 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.

Copies of the Freshfel Consumption Monitor are available from the Freshfel Secretariat.

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