The Fresh Produce Consortium has urged retailers to pledge their full support to the campaign it wants to develop for fruit and vegetables.
The proposed drive, which would be run under the slogan Eat in Colour, was unveiled to FPC members last week (The Grocer October 1, p60).
The FPC believes that it could increase consumption of fresh produce by 5% over three years, worth £259m a year to the fruit and vegetable sector.
However, whether the campaign ever runs depends on members pledging their support in the form of cash, the exact amount determined by a sliding scale relating to the size of a company’s turnover.
FPC chief executive Nigel
Jenney said major retailers, most of whom are members of the FPC, could help in two ways. “The first is to support the campaign by allowing it into their stores. The second is by contributing financially.”
Jenney said the original deadline of yesterday (Friday) to pledge support for the push was elastic, designed to encourage members to respond quickly.
But there is one reason the FPC would like the process to move forward fairly rapidly - the deadline to apply for 2006 European Union match-funding is next month.
However, the PR campaign, which requires members’ contributions totalling £1.8m over four years, will begin at the end of this year, assuming it receives the necessary industry backing, regardless of whether the application for EU money has been made in time.
Jenney and his colleagues at the consortium have launched a frantic charm offensive in an effort to win support for the promotion.
“There’s never been a better time to take advantage of consumer awareness about healthy eating,” he said.
“This will benefit everyone in the industry as a whole, regardless of where they are in the supply chain.”
Richard Clarke