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Hort4Health working to help Canadians improve their diets


March 27, 2012
By Bakers Journal

March 27, 2012, Guelph, Ont. – Hort4Health, a working group of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Horticulture Value Chain Round Table, is working to increase
awareness of the need for consuming fruits and vegetables and to make
these products more accessible to Canadians across the country.

March 27, 2012, Guelph, Ont. – A healthy diet rich in fruits and
vegetables, combined with an active lifestyle, will help address
Canada’s healthcare challenges. However, greater co-ordination and
partnerships between government and industry sectors are needed to
change consumer behaviours.

That was the key message of a networking reception hosted in Ottawa last
week by members of Hort4Health, a working group of the Agriculture and
Agri-Food Canada Horticulture Value Chain Round Table. Members include
edible and ornamental horticulture farmers, retailers, food processors
and input suppliers.

“An active lifestyle and a diversified diet rich in fruits and
vegetables are so important in keeping Canadians healthy, so we’re
advocating for more industry and government co-ordination and
collaboration on this issue,” says Alison Robertson, Chair of
Hort4Health. “We are so lucky here in Canada that we can grow a wide
variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, but it’s critical that all
Canadians have access to the great produce we’re growing.”

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Hort4Health is urging provincial and federal ministries to work more
collaboratively with each other and with farmers and non-governmental
organizations active in the food and nutrition field. The goal is to
increase awareness of the need for consuming fruits and vegetables and
to make these products more accessible to Canadians across the country. A
healthy diet combined with an active lifestyle may reduce the risk of
some types of chronic diseases, promote healthier body weights and help
improve the well-being of Canadians.

“Health is an issue that affects all Canadians, whether in rural, urban
or remote communities,” says Robertson. “By working together, we can be
more proactive in ensuring accessibility to fresh produce and
encouraging Canadians to pursue healthier lifestyles through active
living and boosting their consumption of fruits and vegetables.”