A major drive has been launched by Veg Power to encourage people, especially children and young people, across the UK to eat more vegetables and to persuade more companies in Northern Ireland and across the UK to include these in the products.
This important health initiative is being backed by Food NI, the local food and drink promotion body, which supported Peas Please, the body behind the new scheme.
The first shot in the UK-wide campaign was launched last Friday by ITV and Veg Power on an advertising slot designed to change the way people think and feel about vegetables, with the aim of inspiring us all to eat more veg.
Eating more vegetables could help people, especially youngsters, defeat health challenges such as obesity and diabetes.
The Veg Power fund, supported by broadcaster and food writer Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, was set up to help tackle the huge rise in diet related illness across the UK by encouraging everyone in Britain to eat more veg.
As part of the broadcaster’s Feel Good initiative, ITV is providing media space right across the ITV channels including primetime entertainment family shows to engage the nation with this new approach.
The imaginative campaign is being funded by a unique alliance of the UK’s major food retailers, who are all lining up to support the campaign.
Iceland, Lidl, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons. Sainsbury’s and Waitrose are donating to the Veg Power Fund in order to finance this exciting and unique campaign.
Many cities and local authorities in Britain have pledged support. It is also being supported by Mash Direct in Northern Ireland.
It aims to tackle the fact that 80 per cent of adults and 95 per cent of teenagers do not eat enough vegetables. As veg are low in fat and sugar and high in fibre and nutrients, consuming more veg everyday is a key way of eating more healthily and will play a part in tackling the UK’s obesity crisis.
Carolyn McCall, ITV chief executive, says: “We know that the power of TV can be used to shape culture and this new advertising campaign is amplifying the message that we all need to eat more veg by broadcasting to millions of viewers during ITV’s biggest programmes.
“Working with Veg Power and the major food retailers means this campaign will have a real impact on the health of the nation.”
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall adds: “It’s fantastic news that ITV and Veg Power are teaming up to deliver this exciting campaign.
“The world of veg is full of vibrant colours and exciting and diverse tastes and textures, and we want everyone – especially children – to love them more and eat them more. If they do it will make a huge difference to the health of the nation and the lives of our kids.”
Baroness Rosie Boycott, Chair Veg Power Board, continued: “This is a unique opportunity for Veg Power, ITV, major brands and retailers to come together and make a meaningful difference across the nation. Working collaboratively to reach every corner of the UK with the aim to effect real change.”
Veg Power is an initiative that was born out of the work of The Food Foundation and Peas Please.
Food NI chief executive Michele Shirlow adds: “Veg Power aims to use positive messages of vitality, vibrancy and wonderful taste to give vegetables a modern appeal.
“We have been working closely with Peas Please to make it easier for everyone to eat veg by making food system changes, bringing benefits to our health and the planet.
“It is a voluntary initiative running to 2020 and securing pledges from businesses and public authorities to take positive action.”
As well as partnering with Veg Power, ITV has also partnered with The Daily Mile which encourages kids to run/jog for 15 minutes every day.
Since the ITV on-air campaign launched in April, the number of schools taking part has more than doubled and the number of children at schools now organising their own Daily Miles is almost one million.