BRENTWOOD, MO. - The Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) is accelerating its multi-year, cross-sector Lead The Change Movement, which aims to unify produce industry stakeholders and food system thought leaders. 

“The Lead The Change Movement is designed to maximize the power of PBH’s unique thought leadership, widespread influencer network, credible scientific and consumer research, and, most importantly, our innovative members and partners,” said Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak,  President and CEO. “PBH is honored to serve as the convener of this multi-sector, solutions-based initiative. Our leaders and supporters agree that the only way to truly transform Americans’ fruit and vegetable consumption behaviors (only nine out of 10 American consume enough produce) is through a food system-based approach that embraces the contributions of all sectors as well as a spirit of continuous improvement, sparking innovation and stronger collaboration throughout the industry and beyond.” 

PBH has led comprehensive behavioral research to better understand disparities and challenges contributing to the fruit and vegetable consumption intention-action gap. Research shows that, while people know fruits and vegetables support better health, there is a significant need to inspire and change behaviors by tapping into how people feel about eating fruits and vegetables to effectively influence what they do. PBH’s KNOW-FEEL-DO behavioral framework now serves as the basis for all the Foundation’s programs and communications. 

“PBH is perfectly positioned to convene the multiple stakeholders necessary to take action toward truly shifting the way people feel and pursue their health and happiness through eating more fruits and vegetables,” said Bil Goldfield, director of corporate communications for Dole Food Company and PBH Chairman of the Board. “Only then, will we be able to identify best practices and new opportunities that effectively improve fruit and vegetable consumption behaviors in a lasting and meaningful way.”  

In addition to involving all sectors of the fruit and vegetable industry, among others, Lead The Change includes research, communications, and thought leadership platforms to ensure the movement speaks with: 

  • One Purpose: PBH is leading best-in-class fruit and vegetable consumption research, also known as PBH’s State of the Plate Research on America’s Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables, as well as custom consumer behavioral studies, to identify and elevate new fruit and vegetable consumption behaviors as a national priority. The research will support the movement’s overarching purpose of getting to the root of tackling the produce consumption crisis, informed by PBH’s KNOW-FEEL-DO behavioral framework. 

  • One Voice: PBH has begun convening a multi-sector coalition of influential stakeholders, thought leaders and academic experts as an innovation incubator-type forum to identify ideas and inspire solutions as well as activate the KNOW-FEEL-DO behavioral framework to help consumers act on fruit and vegetable consumption intentions. PBH will continue to leverage its Have A Plant® Movement, its extensive digital ecosystem and Fruit and Vegetable Ambassadors in Action (FVAA) to help consumers put these behaviors into action. 

  • One Call-to-Action: PBH, in partnership with coalition members, will convene multi-sector food system thought leaders at the first-ever national consumption summit, to magnify the fruit and vegetable consumption crisis; build sector-based solutions; and generate a unified call-to-action for lasting behavior change. The summit will take place in 2022, to showcase research insights and coalition member efforts. 

“This is a pivotal time for produce stakeholders to stand together, united in one common goal of closing the fruit and vegetable consumption gap,” said Roger Pepperl, marketing director of Stemilt Growers and PBH past chairman. “I urge my fellow produce industry leaders to step up and lead change together, to inspire new and lasting consumption behaviors that will benefit the public, as well as our industry, for the future.”