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Number 4/2017 – 30th of August 2017
Note from the editor: Summer holiday feelings!
Hello fruit and vegetable fanatics! It’s nearing the end of summer and we’ve got that ‘back to school’ feeling, but in this 4th issue of Fresh Times this year we’re taking a look at the fruit and vegetable scene across Europe and the globe over the summer season. With everyone hit with the travel bug over summer, has it just been us, or has anyone else noticed a craze for fruit and vegetables on, in and around transport during their travels recently? This summer, we’ve seen fruit and vegetables on buses, in airports, on bikes and even on taxis! We’re starting to think they’re following us around! Nearing the end of the school holidays for children across Europe, we’ve also taken a look in this issue at what kids have been up to during their time off in the fruit and vegetable world! From fruity lands to fruity dress-ups, everyone’s enjoyed delicious and nutritious fruits and vegetables this summer!
The UK: Fresh produce on the tube
Do you have a lengthy commute to work on the underground? If you live in London you don’t have to worry about going to the shops after your commute to get dinner anymore. Dagenham East market stall is now up and running from the Dagenham East tube station. The stall offers a range of seasonal organic fruit and vegetables cultivated at the nearby Growing Communities Dagenham Farm. The objective of the stall is to provide tired commuters an opportunity to pick up fresh produce on their way home from work without the hassle of going elsewhere to source a health and nutritious dinner before they return home. Initially, the stall will operate once per week at Dagenham East station, which is on the District Line, and stock fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, chillies, herbs and salad. Dagenham Farm also provides training sessions on food growing and food preparation for the unemployed, and teaches local school children about growing produce and developing healthy eating habits.
Spain: Fruity airport snacks
For one month, between the 14 August and 14 September, airport travellers will be able to snack on Chilean fruits at Spain’s busiest airport, Adolfo Suárez Madrid Barajas airport. Coordinated by the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX), the month-long initiative will provide thousands of fresh, in-season Chilean apples, kiwifruit and pears as healthy and convenient snacks to weary travellers in T1, T2, T3 and T4. These will be able to be bought in cafés and self-service restaurants as a travel snack, healthy dessert option or impulse purchase – all with a Humboldt penguin cartoon. Depending on the popularity of the fruit, a second cycle of Chilean stone fruit, blueberries and cherries could become available to travellers later in the year. So if you’re travelling to Madrid this summer, even for a short stopover, forget the duty free and look out for the fresh fruit available to give you an energy burst on your journey.
The USA: Tour de Fresh on the road
It’s all peddle power over in California at the moment! A group of cycling enthusiasts, from novice to elite cyclists, cycled more than 200 miles (322 kilometres) to raise awareness of the fresh fruits and vegetables as part of the 2017 Tour de Fresh campaign this July. If you’re already feeling tired just thinking about how long that would take you, the Tour de Fresh team climbed over 14,000 feet in hilly terrain along the way on California’s Central Coast. The main focus of this year’s Tour de Fresh ride is to raise funds for school salad bars in order to boost access to fresh fruit and vegetables. Jazz apples, who are sponsoring the event, will also be refreshing riders throughout the three-day course. This year’s Tour de Fresh goal was to raise at least $US 150,000 through fundraising to provide 50 schools with new salad bars to give healthy lunch options to students.
The Netherlands: The land of strawberries awaits you
This summer Het Aardbeienland in the Netherlands brings you the wonderful land of strawberries! Het Aardbeienland, was opened way back in 1998 and is open every year from April to October. Het Aardbeienland is a strawberry theme park, where you can see the full strawberry chain, from strawberry growing, strawberry selling all the way to strawberries being used in baking and pharmaceutical products. A trip through strawberry land takes about 3-4 hours. On your way you can see sweet ancient and new strawberry breeds growing, strawberry farmhouse buildings and a strawberry bakery. From May to September you can even go and pick strawberries yourself! Het Aardbeienland even has a strawberry museum, and several indoor and outdoor playgrounds as well as a strawberry shop. Guided tours are also available, where a strawberry grower will take you through the greenhouses and strawberry fields. Newest attractions at Het Aardbeienland include a new open terrace to enjoy the strawberries on a sunny day, two new attractions ‘the terrible strawberry monster’and ‘strawberry dream’.
The UK: Avocado craze turns buses and taxis green
The World Avocado Organization (WAO) has turned many London buses and taxis green with avocados this summer. As part of the Avocado Fruit of Life campaign, the avocado buses and taxis aim to raise awareness and increase consumption of avocados in the UK and across Europe. Taking place in July and August, this green avocado transformation of buses and taxis also displays the campaign hashtags #AvoBus and #AvoCab. Commuters and tourists alike are encouraged to share their avocado-inspired journey photos using the hashtags on social media. To top it all off, users of the hashtags on Instagram will go in the running to win a summer’s supply of avocados and other prizes – but don’t forget to also tag @avocadofruitoflife as well! The campaign is also running in France, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Iceland at participating retailers.
Poland: Learn about F&V with the Chippas Team
The ‘Fruits and Vegetables at School’ campaign is now up and running in Poland! The Chippas Team series is running as part of the campaign to encourage school children as well as their parents to eat well! The Chippas Team series consists of five episodes, during which you can learn with Chrumas the energetic sports fan, Meee the model student, Uchol the grumbler, and Scarecrow all about fruits and vegetables, and their importance in a healthy and balanced diet! Do not fear parents of the school children will not be left out! The series also aims to teach parents about the origin of fruits and vegetables, the presence of the campaign in schools and the importance of teaching their children about fruits and vegetables, especially nutrition at an early age. Each episode is also designed to be about a different topic, so that it can be a starting point for talking about a healthy diet with children.
The UK: Yellow banana buses takeover London
It seems buses are the new advertisement trend! In August and July, Chiquita, a premium banana brand, turned London buses into Despicable Me 3 minions by turning them yellow and emblazoning them with banana taglines, such as ‘delicious straight or bendy’, ‘hello yellow’ and ‘so healthy it looks like it’s doing a sit up’. These yellow banana transformations are part of Chiquita’s efforts to build banana awareness and get people, especially children, interest in the benefits of eating bananas. Along with the banana buses, Chiquita additionally launched a nationwide sticker campaign, where collective stickers from the Despicable Me 3 movie are attached to two or three clusters of bananas. Attracting interest from both parents and children, the internet is now bubbling over with banana minions from all over the country. Chiquita is certainly doing its best to turn the whole of London yellow, by also displaying 180 digital screens across the city with banana buzzwords.
The UK: It’s what’s on the inside that counts!
The Food Rush and Oddbox have teamed up to tell the world that there’s nothing wrong with fruits or vegetables that are a little wonky or look a little wibbly-wobbly. To show that there is no difference between more wonky or less wonky fresh produce, the team have created fruits and vegetables with character to demonstrate that it’s what’s on the inside that counts, and you should judge a book, or in this case a fruit or vegetable, by its cover. To see their wonderful and healthy wonky creations go to @UglyFruitAndVeg on Twitter and @OddboxLDN on Facebook, and there you will find a plethora of beautiful images celebrating the on-the-wonky-side fruits and vegetables that don’t normally make it to supermarket shelves. The campaign also endeavours to demonstrate that these more unusual looking fresh produce may look different, but taste the same on the inside. Have you seen any unusual looking fruit and vegetables lately?
Global: National Watermelon Day celebrations
On the 3 August we celebrated National Watermelon Day! Did you? Over 5,000 years ago the first watermelon was discovered in Egypt and introduced to the rest of the world. Nowadays, we love to cut up a juicy watermelon on a hot summer’s day and take a bite into its succulent and refreshing interior. The hard rind around the outside also makes for a perfect handle to dig into the red fruit. Did you know that watermelons are more than 90 per cent water? Did you also know that the heaviest watermelon ever grown recorded weighed 159kg! If you want to make preparations for next year’s World Watermelon Day, eating watermelon on the day is a good start. Why not get your kids involved as well and make a watermelon fruit salad or fruit kebab sticks? The options are limitless with such a delicious fruit! But remember you can also eat watermelon the rest of the year too!
Global: Can you eclipse this?
This August the fresh produce sector’s social media gurus eclipsed all their previous fruit and vegetable efforts by documenting their products transition across the sun! As the world waited, keen-eyed, eclipse-glasses in hand, for the moon to cross the sun (or was it the sun to cross the moon?) fruit and vegetable social media experts took the opportunity to demonstrate what it would be like if an fruit or vegetable were crossing the sky instead. In order to celebrate the first solar eclipse to travel coast to coast across the US in 99 years, many from the fresh produce sector used the opportunity to re-enact the eclipse with their products. This eased the long build up for millions across the US, Canada, Mexico, South America and north-western Europe, who waited patiently for the eclipse to occur. Those who only got to see a partial eclipse were also represented by a big banana in New York.
Global: Fruit and vegetables dress-ups
How do you make fruits and vegetables even more fun than eating them? You guessed it – you dress up in them! A new craze of fruit and vegetable dress-ups has taken over our Twitter feed recently with fruit and vegetable enthusiasts from across Europe dressing up in fruit and vegetables. We think it first started in Turkey with this little girl playing dress-ups with her mum using watermelons, bananas, broccoli, grapes, lettuce and melons just to name a few. On the 3 August, National Watermelon Day, we noticed a larger number than usual of holiday makers dressing up in full watermelon attire, showcasing different outfits depending on the quantity of the watermelon slice eaten. This trend was already increasing in June and July, but it has now reached full scale watermelon-y madness! We’re now waiting to see what the autumn fruit and vegetable dress-up trend will be, keep a look out here for the latest fruit and vegetable attire updates. Anyone for a pumpkin ball gown?