FAO has welcomed the decision by the United Nations to create two new international days and one international year devoted to issues directly related to food and agriculture.
The UN General Assembly adopted resolutions designating 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables, 21 May as International Tea Day and 29 September as International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, following requests made by the FAO Conference.
« 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. »
International Tea Day has been celebrated by some countries – notably in South Asia and Tanzania – where tea has been a major commodity and important beverage for some time.
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.