CPMA launches Half Your Plate this week

Program aims to convince Canadians to fill half their plate with produce

The Canadian Produce Marketing Association is rolling out the Half Your Plate campaign this week with events that range from a Twitter party to in-store sampling.

The campaign, which officially kicked off Monday, aims to get Canadians to fill half their plate with fruits and vegetables in order to eat healthier.

Events scheduled for this week include a presentation on Tuesday to some 300 elementary school students at a community centre in Vancouver about eating healthy.

On Thursday morning, the campaign heads to the Metro Plus de la Montagne store in Montreal. Shoppers will be able to sample fruits and vegetables, while a nutritionist will explain how to include more fruits and vegetables in meals.

Also on Thursday, from 6 to 9 a.m. CPMA representatives will be at the Ontario Food Terminal in Toronto to promote the campaign to grocers.

That same day, at 9 p.m., CMPA will host a party on Twitter (#Halfyourplate) to talk up fruits and vegetables to consumers.

“Now is the perfect time to introduce consumers to Half Your Plate. It’s a new year and a great time to start eating healthier,” Sam Silvestro, chair of the CPMA’s marketing and promotions committee, said in a release.

Canada’s Food Guide recommends people eat seven to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. But studies show the average person typically eats only 3.5 to 4.5 servings, says CPMA.

Ron Lemaire, CMPA’s president, says Half Your Plate makes eating produce easier because rather than “worry about serving size, our messaging is that at every meal, make half your plate fruit and vegetables.”

At the supermarket consumers should fill half their shopping cart with produce, Lemaire added.

Half Your Plate was developed by CPMA with the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Public Health Association and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

The campaign launched on social media last summer and is now making its way into stores and on produce packaging, according to CPMA.

Retailers that have signed on to promote Half Your Plate include Walmart, Federated Co-operatives and Colemans.

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