FruitVegetablesEUROPE and the EU Launch “CuTE4You”, an homage to the essential work of fruit and vegetable producers during the pandemic

CULTIVATING THE TASTE OF EUROPE FOR YOU

When you consume Fruit and Vegetables from here #EUROPEWINS – WE ALL WIN

#CONSUMEUROPE #ENJOY IT’S FROM EUROPE

Janusz Wojciechowski (EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development): “The outbreak of Covid-19 has triggered an unprecedented crisis. I am deeply grateful to our farmers and producers who have demonstrated their ability to recover and have continued to provide Europeans with safe, high-quality food during the pandemic.”

Luis Planas (MAPA): “I am the minister of this country that is called the “vegetable garden of Europe”, and rightly so, because we provide fruits and vegetables to the whole of the EU and we are the largest producer”

Eurovision singers Blas Cantó, Soraya Arnelas, Natalie Horler and Kate Ryan support this new campaign from FruitVegetablesEUROPE and ask consumers to purchase European products

Brussels/Madrid, 26 April 2021.- The European Fruit and Vegetables association FruitVegetablesEUROPE (EUCOFEL), which brings together more than 4,500 companies from major producing countries and European exporters, has launched the outreach programme (with financial support from Brussels) “CuTE-4You: Cultivating the Taste of Europe for You”. The campaign aims to highlight the importance of the sector’s essential work during the COVID-19 pandemic and generate a movement in support of European farmers that, in turn, promotes the consumption of fruit and vegetables produced within the European Union.

The FruitVegetablesEUROPE campaign, in which renowned and exemplary organisations participate, such as Comité de Gestión de Cítricos, Afrucat, Freshuelva, Cooperativas Agro-alimentarias de Granada/Espárrago Verde, +Brócoli, Alcachofa de España, Proexport, Asociafruit, Afruex, Apoexpa, Fedefruta and FEPEX, also aims to transmit the messages of pride and belonging to the sector to millions of consumers in Spain, Germany and Belgium. In population terms, these three countries account for around 141.4 million EU consumers.

We will ask people to look at the label and make sure that their products come from here. We all know that the best way to thank EU farmers for their efforts is to consume and enjoy European fruit and vegetables. With this, the consumer wins, the producer wins and EUROPE WINS”, emphasises the president of FruitVegetablesEUROPE, Juan Marín.

FruitVegetablesEUROPE is very proud and excited about the launch of this EU promotion programme. It is the most important political and social programme that has been created in the EU to thank the European fruit and vegetable sector“, underlined the Secretary General of FruitVegetablesEUROPE, Alba Ridao-Bouloumié. The President also emphasised the strategic nature of agriculture because “we cannot be left in the hands of third countries and any crisis, pandemic or geopolitical contingency could leave us without the much-needed foodstuffs that European consumers need”.

In this vein, the organisations that make up this association concur when they point out that “the European consumer must be clear that purchasing fruit and vegetables produced and made in Europe will provide greater guarantees of food safety, quality, respect for the environment and an added commitment to values and production methods, in the social and labour context, from the European Union itself”.

In a promotional video for the campaign, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, acknowledged the value of fruit and vegetables from the point of view of health, nutrition, the economy, employment, rural development and the environment. “I am the minister of this country that is called the “vegetable garden of Europe”, and rightly so, because we effectively provide fruit and vegetables to the whole of the EU and we are the largest producer”, he emphasised. He reminded us that our country has more than 1.7 million hectares, more than 30 million tons per year of “excellent and extremely diverse fruit and vegetables” in production; an activity that creates 200,000 direct jobs and 100,000 indirect jobs in collection and handling.

“Exports of more than €16.5 billion to the rest of the EU and the world show how we contribute to the development of this sector,” he adds. In addition, Planas recognised that, within the sustainable development objectives framework, the sector is responding to new demands regarding respect for the environment and the fight against climate change.

Promotional video featuring famous singers

The singers Natalie Horler (who represented Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2013) and Kate Ryan (who represented Belgium in the 2006 edition), are the famous faces that are involved in the promotional video “CuTE-4You”, along with Blas Cantó – Spain’s representative in the Eurovision Song Contest 2021, which will be hosted by the city of Rotterdam (The Netherlands) at the end of May, and Soraya Arnelas (who participated in the contest in 2009). The four artists have shown their absolute support for the consumption of fruit and vegetables produced in Europe due to the positive implications this has for farmers, the economy and rural development. The campaign’s promotional video has been bolstered with images of crops and producers filmed in major fruit and vegetable-producing areas in Spain.

The new campaign will resume from where “Cute – Cultivating the Taste of Europe” left off. This project was a global strategy from FruitVegetablesEUROPE and was launched in 2018 to highlight the importance of the production methods and the characteristics of fruit and vegetables in Europe and has already reached 220 million consumers.

Within the “CuTE-4You” framework, specific actions will be carried out to support producers of oranges, tangerines, clementines, watermelons, cantaloupes, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, peaches, nectarines, plums, grapes, apricots, cherries, flat peaches, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, broccoli, green asparagus, artichokes, spinach and celery, among others. In addition to an audio-visual presentation, the campaign draws on various actions in the media, the internet and social media to generate a social movement that promotes the consumption of fruit and vegetables, as summarised in the slogan: “When you consume our fruit and vegetables, Europe wins and we all win”.

Backing from the European Commission

“The outbreak of Covid-19 has triggered an unprecedented crisis. I am deeply grateful to our farmers and producers, who have demonstrated their ability to recover and have continued to provide Europeans with safe, high-quality food during the pandemic,” said the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Janusz Wojciechowski, after he stated that “guaranteeing food safety and an efficient food supply chain throughout the EU is one of the priorities of the Commission”.

“Last year made it clear that it is essential we guarantee that everyone has access to sufficient, nutritious and sustainable food while preserving our agricultural production potential and recognising the key role played by our farmers in this context. The affordability of food and the generation of fairer economic benefits for farmers go hand in hand,” adds Wojciechowski. He recognised that fruit and vegetable producers and their organisations experienced financial and cash flow-related problems that were caused by the closure of the hospitality industry and other points of sale of their products, as well as difficulties during harvest due to the shortage of labour.

“To help alleviate these problems, the Commission took prompt action to provide more flexibility in the implementation of programs to support the fruit and vegetables market and bolstered the EU’s school plan (which covers milk, fruit and vegetables). This allowed funding priorities to be reoriented toward crisis management measures”, the Commissioner pointed out. On the other hand, he reminded us that “the current environmental challenges require us to significantly reduce the use and risks of phytosanitary chemical products, as well as the use of fertilisers and antibiotics, while at the same time, increasing the surface area dedicated to organic agriculture”. To this effect, “the EC has endorsed a shift towards a vegetable-based diet, with more fruit and vegetables.”

Distortion of the markets

If European producers were already dealing with highly volatile markets, the pandemic has created conditions of insecurity among producers and marketers. To this effect, the campaign CuTE-4You, which has a budget of €922,000 and is co-financed by the EU, aims to contribute to restoring normal market conditions after the multiple impacts of the
COVID-19 pandemic. The European fruit and vegetables sector is key to the EU, with a weight of 19.8 % of total agricultural production; about five million hectares and a value of over €5.2 billion, which also offers affordable and high-quality food to 511 million consumers. The sector preserves the traditional, cultural and natural heritage of Europe and is an engine of employment and rural development.

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