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United Nations Proclaims 2016 as “International Year of Pulses”

I am very excited to hear 2016 has been declared ‘Year of the Pulses’. Here is the press release from the International Pulse Trade and Industries Confederation (IPTIC):

Issued by International Pulse Trade and Industries Confederation, Head Office DUBAI, UAE December 20, 2013

Pulses – the healthiest grain foods in the world – have captured the attention of the United Nations. Today, the General Assembly of the UN voted to declare 2016 as the “International Year of Pulses.”

“This is an extraordinary day for the global pulse industry” declared Hakan Bahceci, President of the global pulses peak body, CICILS IPTIC. “Beans, lentils, peas and chickpeas have been the cornerstone of global nutrition for centuries. Having a UN dedicated year will raise the level of awareness of pulses and the important role they can play in health and nutrition, food security and environmental sustainability.”

Beyond traditional markets, pulses have steadily increased in popularity as people around the world recognize their appeal as nutritious, versatile foods that are essential to healthy diets.

The idea of a year dedicated to recognizing the role of pulses in sustainable agriculture and healthy diets was conceived by Hakan Bahceci over two years ago, when CICILS IPTIC commenced work to raise awareness within the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) of the importance of pulses in these areas. Through the determined support of the several countries, in particular Turkey and Pakistan, and the support of the governments of all major producing and consuming countries world wide, the International Year of Pulses was today passed by the UN General Assembly meeting in New York.

“This is the greatest opportunity in a century to give pulses the attention they deserve. Pulses can help to increase food security for those with shortages and to tackle the increase of diseases linked to lifestyles such as obesity and diabetes. Plus, they improve cropping systems and are good for farmers,” said Hakan. “The International Year of Pulses will give pulses additional research attention and nutritional programming, which will lead to dietary uptake. Increased pulse consumption will grow both healthy people and a healthy planet. We deeply appreciate the United Nation’s dedication to the task.”

CICILS IPTIC has set aside $1.1 million as a preliminary reserve to fund activities related to the Year. A series of national committees are being established around the world by CICILS members to work with their governments, farmers, NGOs, retailers, food manufacturers, health & science organizations and UN bodies to make the year a success globally and in each country.

“With rates of diabetes and obesity on the rise around the world, the International Year of Pulses presents an opportunity to recognize pulses for their exceptional potential to offer nutritional well being to people everywhere,” said Hakan. “2016 will also be an important occasion to learn about the world’s wonderful pulse culinary traditions, and to discover new ways to create healthier foods in the future.”

Contact for further information: Gavin Gibson, Executive Director International Pulse Trade and Industries Confederation.

Robynne Anderson

Robynne has extensive experience in the agriculture and food sector, working throughout the value chain – from basic inputs to farmers in the field to the grocery store shelf. She works internationally in the sector, including speaking at the United Nations on agriculture and food issues, and representing the International Agri-Food Network at the UN.Throughout her career she has worked with farm organisations like the Prairie Oat Growers Association, the National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi and the Himalayan Farmers Association, as well as global groups, to further the voice of agriculture in the food debate. She has also worked with Fortune 500 companies growing worldwide businesses to assist them with issues management and strategy decisions.

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