Co-ops Join Half Your Plate Program to encourage consumption of fruit and vegetables

Canadians will soon find Half Your Plate retail branding in their local Co-op store. The 225 stores in the Co-operative Retailing System will be featuring Half Your Plate in store and online in the coming weeks to support the movement towards healthier eating in Canada. An initiative of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA), Half Your Plate empowers Canadians of all ages to eat more fruits and veggies to improve their health while providing simple and practical ways to add a variety of produce to every meal and snack. These retail co-ops will also feature online tips and recipes to make it easier for consumers to fill half their plate at every meal.

“We believe that Half Your Plate will help Co-op customers make healthier, more informed choices when they shop” said Ron Welke, Associate Vice-President of Food, Federated Co-operatives Limited. “By joining the campaign, we’re creating a unified message across Canada that we need to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into our meals and snacks.”

“Rather than having people count servings or worry about serving size, our messaging is that at every meal, make half your plate fruit and vegetables. By the end of the day, you’ll have your recommended number of servings,” said Ron Lemaire, President, CPMA. “That also translates when you’re at the grocery store. Half your cart should be fruit and veggies, and having retailers promote the campaign re-emphasizes the importance of making healthier choices at the store.”
Half Your Plate offers a simple, consistent way to help consumers navigate the many different messages they hear each day about healthy eating. “It can be a bit confusing for some consumers to know what makes up a healthy meal,” added Lemaire. “What we hear most from consumers is that they’re struggling with what a serving is in a lot of instances and are looking for ways to make healthy choices fast, easy and affordable.”

Although Canadians are becoming more conscious of what they eat, studies show that the average person only consumes 3.5-4.5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Yet Canada’s Food Guide recommends that adults get 7-10 servings per day, depending on gender. Half Your Plate encourages people to take it one meal at a time, analyzing the make-up of their plate rather than specific servings that can be confusing to many.

The Half Your Plate campaign was developed in collaboration with health partners the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Public Health Association, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Other Canadian retailers will also be using the campaign in store in the coming months. Please visit www.halfyourplate.ca, the campaign is also on Twitter, facebook and Pinterest under @halfyourplate.

For more information please contact:
Vanessa Sherry
Canadian Produce Marketing Association
Tel: 613-226-4187 x225
Email: vsherry@cpma.ca



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