Press release: UN General Assembly establishes 2021 as the Fruit and Vegetables International Year

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December 20, 2019

UN General Assembly establishes Fruit and Vegetables international year. FAO welcomes this global recognition.

 19 December 2019, New York/Rome – The UN General Assembly adopted resolutions designating 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables following request made by the FAO Conference. FAO welcomes today’s decision by the United Nations to create two new international days and one international year devoted to issues directly related to food and agriculture.

 “Without healthy diets, we cannot hope to end malnutrition – and we will not eradicate hunger unless we curb food losses. By highlighting the value of fruits and vegetables, and the damage caused by loss and waste, the UN has taken a decisive step to promote fairer, greener, more efficient food systems,” said FAO Deputy Director-General for Climate and Natural Resources Maria Helena Semedo. “Honouring tea is a fitting tribute to the legions of smallholder farmers who help produce what is the world’s favourite drink, after water itself.”

FAO and the World Health Organization recommend that each adult consumes at least 400 grams of fruit and vegetables on a daily basis to prevent chronic NCDs, including heart diseases, cancer, diabetes and obesity, as well as to counter micronutrient deficiencies.

Advocacy for fresh produce also fits well with the aim of strengthening the role of smallholder and family farmers, and fosters broader market options for millions of rural families. Gender equity opportunities are also noteworthy, as women often play leading roles for their households in both the production and consumption of fruit and vegetables.

The UN General Assembly adopted 2 more resolutions: 21 May as International Tea Day and 29 September as International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste.