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(Bologna, May 8, 2008)
To encourage the consumption of fresh and processed fruits & vegetables in several important markets such as the United States, Russia and Japan by focusing on the positive health benefits and strong nutritional qualities of these products. In brief, this is the key objective of the “European Flavors” initiative which is supported by a total investment of 4m euros financed 50% by the EU, 30% by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and the balance of 20% by CSO members.
The project encompasses both fresh produce (such as citrus, pears, peaches, nectarines, plums and kiwifruit) for the most part certified under Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status, and processed produce (such as tomato-based products, fruit juices and concentrates, packed vegetables as well as tinned and frozen fruit) grown under modern cultivation practices and strict environmental standards within the EU.
Land specifically recognized for the uniqueness of the climate and soil to the cultivation of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as the age-old experience of the growers and industry stakeholders. It is thanks to these factors that European fruits and vegetables, carefully monitored from field to market, guarantee top-quality produce together with outstanding natural and nutritional qualities that are sure to comply with the demands of the modern consumer. Through a unique mix of taste and aroma European fruits and vegetables are able to satisfy the taste buds of the most demanding consumers.
The “European Flavors” initiative will incorporate a number of activities directed at trade professionals with the aim of improving knowledge and appreciation of European fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, emphasizing their special place in the Mediterranean diet which is today considered by nutritionists as a healthy and balanced food regimen.
As part of a healthy diet fruit and vegetables play an extremely important role in preventing serious illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and the spread of obesity that are, unfortunately, of increasing prevalence in western countries.
“European Flavors” is targeting countries such as Russia, Japan and the USA where the potential for increasing consumption of fresh fruits and processed vegetables is greatest.
The initiative aims to contribute to efforts that will encourage consumers to eat more fruit and vegetables, which will ideally raise consumption levels to a daily amount of 400 grams as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). These efforts and activities will be supported via a promotional and information campaign directed at food vendors and distributors with a sense of tradition that values quality produce of certified provenance.
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