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Incredible Edibles 2012 Launched by Minister Shane McEntee TD

- The average Irish person consumes only 3 of the recommended 5 portions of fruit and vegetables everyday -

Incredible Edibles 2012 was launched today by Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Shane McEntee TD, in Agri Aware's Family Farm at Dublin Zoo. Attendance at the launch included children from local primary schools, Incredible Edibles sponsors, Agri Aware's Chairman Bernard Donohue.

The Incredible Edibles, now in its fourth year, is an industry funded educational initiative aimed at raising primary school children's awareness of where our fruit and vegetables come from and their importance as part of a healthy diet. The initiative's ultimate objective is to increase fruit and vegetable consumption in an effort to improve health and tackle the increasing national level of obesity.

Speaking at the launch, Minister McEntee outlined the need for the population as a whole to increase its consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables. He highlighted the fact that "the average Irish person consumes only 3 of the recommended 5 portions of fruit and vegetables everyday".

The Minister paid tribute to the Incredible Edibles as one of Agri Aware's most successful educational initiatives ever.  He also thanked the broad industry based support for the initiative which he said "allows primary schools participate in the project at no cost".

Building on the experience of the past three years, the Incredible Edibles plans to shortly introduce its brand to fresh fruit and vegetable packaging and point of sale information at retail level. Welcoming this development, Minister McEntee said, "developing the Incredible Edibles brand will be essential to fully translate what goes on in the classroom to parents purchasing decisions and ultimately into fruit and vegetable consumption patterns for future generations."

While praising the industry's financial commitment to the project, the Minister concluded by urging the industry sponsors to make the investment necessary "to give the Incredible Edibles brand the critical mass it requires to become a permanent brand associated with quality assured Irish fruit and vegetables."

Date Released: 06 March 2012