Freshfel, the industry body for the European fresh produce industry, is launching a major marketing and communications campaign to tackle consumer misperceptions about the price of fruit & veg.

The organisation said this week it wanted to dispel the myth that fruit & veg were expensive by providing a 'unified' message to members across Europe about how prices compared with other foods.

Freshfel will also seek to improve public perception of the fruit & veg industry more widely by highlighting the sector's skills and professionalism as well as its value to the wider European economy.

A website,, will launch to coincide with FruitLogistica in Berlin this month, and targeted information will be disseminated to equip growers with relevant facts. The campaign will be aimed primarily at industry professionals and policymakers who, Freshfel hopes, will raise awareness of the campaign messages in their countries.

Because Freshfel is a pan-European organisation, it is not able to carry out consumer activities in individual countries itself.

Fruit & veg consumption was falling across the EU, said Freshfel communication and industry policy adviser Sebastian Kruse, and the industry needed to act because consumer research had shown many shoppers wrongly believed fruit & veg were too expensive.

Although some fruit and veg had gone up in price recently, as had other foods, they continued to offer exceptional value, he added. "They think because it comes from a tree, it should be very cheap, but the campaign will set the record straight," he said.

Nigel Jenney of the UK's Fresh Produce Consortium welcomed the campaign and said the UK industry needed to back such efforts to highlight fresh produce as the "ultimate affordable convenience food".

The UK industry was making great strides with Eat In Colour, he said, while British fruit & veg growers had also launched a highly successful Healthy Eating badge for Scouts.