Public health analysis suggests that many lives can be saved if the UK population actually followed dietary guidelines on fruit and vegetable daily intake. The Government’s Eatwell Plate recommends that more than a third of UK daily diets should comprise fruit and vegetables and yet currently less than a quarter of diets are taken from this source. A UK debate on the status of the horticultural industry and its potential to meet a recommended increase in consumption is long overdue.
This paper presents current national levels of fruit and vegetable production and consumption. It outlines the origins of what horticultural produce is consumed here and the potential for meeting demand should diets adapt to those suggested by government guidelines. The Briefing provides a summary of key facts on UK horticulture based on information that is publicly available.