Since launching its SafeFruitsandVeggies.com website last summer, the Alliance for Food and Farming has experienced some surprising results from this effort that promotes consumption of all fruits and vegetables by providing credible, science-based information to ease common fears about pesticide residues.
Now the group plans to update members of the produce industry about the campaign through a free webinar May 10, 2011 from 2:00 to 3:00 EST. On the agenda is information about the campaign’s accomplishments to date; what is planned for the near future; and how people throughout the produce industry can help further support the cause.
“Our industry thrives on the healthy and safely grown produce that promotes greater consumption with the all-important consumer confidence in our products,” says Bryan Silbermann, President and CEO of the Produce Marketing Association, a key organization supporting the “Safe Fruits and Veggies” initiative and sponsor of the webinar. “The Safe Fruits and Veggies campaign marks the first time the produce industry has really spoken out to tell people the real story about pesticide residues on our products, and these efforts are leading to real change in perceptions and positions among many advocacy groups.”
Silbermann is a member of the Management Board for the Alliance for Food and Farming, which is a non-profit association representing approximately 50 produce trade groups, commodity boards, and individual grower-shippers. Membership represents both conventional and organic farming operations in a range of sizes.
The cornerstone of the Alliance campaign is a website, www.SafeFruitsandVeggies.com, which serves as a resource to get trustworthy and easy-to-understand information about pesticide residues to consumers.
“The purpose of the campaign is to eliminate fear as a barrier to consumption of fruits and vegetables,” says Silbermann. “We know from consumer research that about 60% of consumers have a high level of concern when it comes to pesticide residues. In fact, recent findings from PMA research indicate that 29% of consumers report they are avoiding some fruits and vegetables because of their concern about residues. This is something that simply cannot be ignored.”
As a first step in addressing consumer concerns, the Alliance for Food and Farming commissioned a review of the science behind sensationalized and so-called “dirty” produce lists which receive widespread media coverage. A panel of five scientists in toxicology, risk assessment, and nutrition resoundingly concluded there is no scientific evidence that the amount of pesticide residues found on fruits and vegetables present any health risks. The group also noted that, conversely, the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables are indisputable.
With the backing of these experts, the Alliance is now out communicating this message to consumers in a number of ways. The purpose of the May 10 webinar is to let people know what is being done and how they can further promote the effort.
To register for the free webinar, go to https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/960341590.
Source: Alliance For Food And Farming