Chef Michael Smith at Queen's Park Today to Discuss the Importance of Eating More Fruits and Vegetables

TORONTO, Oct. 28, 2015 /CNW/ - The Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) is at Queen's Park today to promote the importance of increased fruit and vegetable consumption and the Half Your Plate Program with Ontario Parliamentarians.

"There are significant health benefits to increasing the number of servings of fruits and vegetables, as well as economic benefits to Ontario growers. Our members are looking to partner with all governments to ensure that the number of servings of healthy fruits and vegetables that Ontarians enjoy is increased," said Ron Lemaire, President, CPMA. "We need to get families back in the kitchen preparing fresh and healthy meals, and our Half Your Plate Ambassador Chef Michael Smith's message is intended to inspire change."

"What we eat has an impact on our health. That's why our government has been working hard to make it easier for people to eat healthy," said Dipika Damerla, Ontario's Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. "Eating more fruits and vegetables is a delicious and nutritious way to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. I applaud the work the CPMA is doing through an initiative that is more about carrots than sticks!"‎

"Ontario's farmers grow some of the best fruit and vegetables and Ontarians must take advantage of these high quality, nutritious foods available to them locally," noted Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. "Buying local when available within Ontario helps to stimulate the provincial economy and also provides consumers with a connection to where their food comes from and the people who produce it. CPMA's industry-led Half Your Plate initiative is a simple message, endorsed by Foodland Ontario, to support that increased consumption can be integrated into existing healthy eating campaigns and programs."

To end the day, Chef Michael Smith will be doing a cooking demonstration at Queens Park to promote the Half Your Plate message.  Host of Chef Michaels Kitchen, Chef Abroad and Chef at Home on Food Network Canada, Chef Smith has devoted his life to helping Canadians create a healthy food lifestyle that includes lots of daily fruits and vegetables. "We all know how important it is to eat lots of fruits and vegetables every single day but not all of us know how. That's where I come in," says Smith. "It's my mission to remind everyone how simple healthy cooking is, that it's not expensive, difficult or time consuming. We're all in this together and together we can help every family improve their health, every day."

The Half Your Plate program was launched in January 2015 by the CPMA and health partners the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Public Health Association, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation. The campaign emphasizes how fun, practical and easy it is to prepare a wide variety of fruits and vegetables for meals and snacks at home, at school, at work, eating out or on the go. More information is available at

About the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA):

Based in Ottawa, Ontario, CPMA is a not-for-profit organization that represents companies that are active in the marketing of fresh fruits and fresh vegetables in Canada from farm gate to dinner plate. CPMA's vision is to enable and lead the produce industry by enhancing the market and facilitating trade of fresh fruits and vegetables for its members.


SOURCE Canadian Produce Marketing Association

For further information: Vanessa Sherry, Manager, Communications, Canadian Produce Marketing Association, Tel: 613-226-4187 x225 | Cell: 613-878-3312, Email:


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