To celebrate the UN International Year of Fruit and Vegetables and to launch its ‘best in season’ campaign, Bord Bia is encouraging people to add an extra fruit or vegetable at every meal.

The annual campaign seeks to encourage consumers to pick local fresh produce which is in season, a choice which will benefit consumers and Irish farmers.

Sector manager for fresh produce and potatoes in Bord Bia Lorcan Bourke explained the crossover between this year’s designation by the UN and the yearly Bord Bia campaign.

“With 2021 being designated by the UN as the International Year of Fruit and Vegetables, it is heartening to see the latest market data showing that Irish consumers are continuing to purchase more fresh produce, with the record sales achieved during the pandemic being sustained into 2021,” Bourke stated.

The Bord Bia campaign comes as consumer spending on fresh produce is increasing.

Market data indicates that the average household has spent 7.5% more on fresh vegetables when compared with last year.

Supporting producers

Minister of State for the Department of Agriculture Pippa Hackett welcomed the Bord Bia initiative, stressing the beneficial effects such shifts in consumer purchasing behaviour would have for farmers.

“By seeking Irish quality assured produce in season, we support Irish producers, Irish jobs and make a strong contribution to the Irish economy.

“We also get quality food that has been produced and delivered to the highest standards with minimal impact on the environment,” she commented from a vegetable farm in Co Meath.

Peak season

There is a large variety of fruit and vegetables available from Irish producers in the peak growing season.

“July marks the peak growing season in Ireland and growers are working around the clock to deliver fresh fruit and vegetables to shops, often within 24 hours of produce being harvested,” Bourke said.

A selection of the Irish vegetables currently in season:

  • Broccoli.
  • Cabbage.
  • Carrots.
  • Leeks.
  • Lettuce.
  • Mushrooms.
  • Onions.
  • “We’re lucky to have over 50 types of fruit and vegetables grown in Ireland, giving us plenty of options to ‘add one more’ to meals this summer.”