2016 International Year of Pulses Newsletter April 2016

National Committee Updates

Argentina National Committee

The Argentinian National Committee is working with the National Post Office to launch a series of stamps featuring IYP with four different pictures of beans, chickpeas, peas and lentils. They have also started working with the Argentina Health Department to develop a recipe book designed for children.

Canadian National Committee

The Canadian National Committee has developed an exhibit titled  “Pulses: the Ideal Partner”  that is travelling around Canada during 2016 to shopping malls, regional museums, libraries and larger events including the Calgary Stampede and the Royal Winter Fair. This was done in partnership with the Canada Ag & Food Museum.

They have also engaged Agriculture in the Classroom Canada to help implement programs in Canadian elementary, middle and high schools that are based on the pulse lesson plans developed by the Creating Awareness Committee.

Working with Community Food Centres Canada, the national committee is developing a series of recipes and educational materials to improve domestic food security.

Colombia National Committee

On March 19th, Aburra joined millions of other people around the world by participating in Earth Hour. Employees turned off their lights and ensured that all lights were off when leaving the office. Employees consumed pulses with their family and friends in an effort to reduce their environmental footprint.  View their presentation here!

Spanish National Committee

On March 8 the Spanish National Committee, and the Association of Legumbristas of Spain (ALE), launched the International Year of Pulses at The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (MAGRAMA). Read the press release (in Spanish) here.

Japan National Committee

With over 75,000 visitors at FOODEX Japan between March 8 and 11th, visitors tasted delicious pulse-based recipes at the Japan Pea and Bean Importers Association booth.  For more information, click here.

Netherlands National Committee

On February 29, the US Embassy organised a pulse tasting event for the Dutch media – with the goal of stimulating pulse consumption in the Netherlands. In the wonderful surroundings of the private residence of the US Ambassador in The Hague, 40 journalists attended the event. The Voedingscentrum shared the insight that in Holland, people eat 1 gram of pulses per person per day, whereas USA consumption is 10 times higher. Blije Boon Ambassador Chef Luc Kusters prepared a delicious pulse tasting menu for the press while Yneke Kootstra, the chairwoman of the Dutch National Committee, briefed journalists. The Blije Boon Foodtruck was present in the backyard of the residence, to share information and give away the Netherlands National Committee Information booklet.

UK National Committee

On March 17, Public Health England (PHE) introduced their new dietary recommendations “Eatwell Guide”. The role of pulses in balanced diets has been elevated (pink protein section), with pictorial illustrations of lentils, beans & chickpeas all being shown (compared to only one illustration of mean).

The World Wildlife Fund and the UK national committee came together for Earth Hour on March 19. Check out Jenny Chandler’s low carbon pulse recipe that was featured on pulses.org!

Upcoming Signature Events!

Regional Conference Central American Cooperative Program for Crops and Animal Improvements – April 5 – 8, 2016, Costa Rica

Renowned researchers and speakers will attend the meeting to discuss current topics such as regional strategies for food security, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, rural and territorial development, family farm and innovation on agriculture to improve yield through an efficient use of natural resources such as soil, water, non-traditional crops.
Find more information and registration here!

International Conference on Pulses for Health, Nutrition, and Sustainable Food Security in the Dry Areas – April 18 – 20, 2016, Marrakesh, Morocco

The Conference will provide a platform to various stakeholders including scientists, policy makers, extension workers, traders and entrepreneurs to discuss various issues related to the contributions of pulses to food and nutritional security and ecosystem health through their carbon footprint and nitrogen fixation with a focus on Central and West Asia and North Africa.

Find more information and registration here!

GPC’s Global Pulse Convention – May 19 – 22, 2016, Izmir, Turkey

Attend the most important pulse event of the year! We will be hosting the Global Pulse Convention in Izmir, Turkey, in May. For more information on the conference, visit our website here. For registration, click here.

Other Updates

Launch of the World’s Greatest Pulse Dishes
Following the successful launch of the International Year of Pulses and Pulse Feast on January 6, we will use the launch of the World’s Greatest Pulse Dishes (known also as the National Signature Dishes) from April 1 to 15 as the next important communications moment in the annual campaign. A communications plan was made for the launch. You can find this here.

We are counting on the national committees, thematic area committees and all IYP partners to contribute to this launch by promoting widely the recipes on pulses.org.

New Pulses.org

To better promote the World’s Greatest Pulse Dishes, and in particular the new photographs and video animations that were developed to capitalize on the hundreds of recipes collected to date, pulses.org went through a refresh and was relaunched on April 1. New features include more sophisticated recipe pages, a new search engine, and easier navigation. Please share all the new resources, in particular the photos, videos and recipes with your networks.


The International Year of Pulses 2016 had a special appearance at BIOFACH, the World’s Leading Trade Fair for Organic Food, held in conjunction with VIVANESS, the International Trade Fair for Natural Personal Care, drew 48,533 visitors from 130 countries to Nuremberg from 10 to 13 February this year.

On February 11 a special event took place, in which the presenters talked about the importance of Pulses under 3 different dimensions: social, economic and environmental, approached by Paulina Ceballos on behalf of the Global Pulse Confederation; nutritional by Vandana Shiva from Navdanya India; and sustainable by Andre Leu from IFOAM Organics International. Specifically, Paulina Ceballos gave a presentation on how was the Year declared, the Launch of the Year, and about the events and activities happening around the world to celebrate IYP. More info available here.

PanAfrican Grain Legume and World Cowpea Conference

Livingstone, Zambia, was host to the PanAfrican Grain Legume and World Cowpea Conference, the first conference dedicated to boosting pulse productivity, nutrition and processing in Africa. It was a milestone in the fight against global hunger with 400 academics, NGOs and scientists in attendance to turn around the lack of investment in agricultural research and development, which is handicapping the ability of poor, small holder African farmers to fight climate change, boost productivity and feed their families.

To read more about how the conference marks a milestone in the battle to deal with global hunger, try this article in the Huffington Post.

Global Pulse Productivity & Sustainability Survey

A new global survey among leading agricultural research institutions and personnel shows a concern that the current level of research funding into pulses is too low and this may be handicapping efforts to improve food security and agricultural sustainability. Some highlights include:

–        The survey suggests that annual investment hovers at only $175m per annum for the 13 crops in the pulse category. Billions are invested into other crops such as corn.

–         The survey maps, for the first time, many important national initiatives and international centres of excellence like CGIAR, a global research partnership, and ‘stalwart’ funders such as USAID and the Gates Foundation.

–        With investment in crop improvement and agronomy research, pulses can be made resilient to climate change as well as diversify income sources for farmers.

Find the report and survey posted on iyp2016.org here.

LovePulses Product Showcase Canadian competition winners announced

The winner of the Canadian National Competition is a product called “Fiberger” , developed by two students from University of Guelph in Ontario. This is a high-fiber meat extender containing red lentils, green peas and chickpeas. Second place went to Biotagelata, a gelato made from fermented beans developed by students from the University of Alberta. Third went to Vital ImPulse, a breakfast bar containing faba bean flour, chickpea flour and green lentils developed by students from Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax. The Canadian competition took place at the CIFST conference in Vancouver and one of the judges was local celebrity chef Vikram Vij! Check out the images here.

Pulse Brand’s Expert Panel develop single recommendation for pulse consumption

Pulse Brand’s Expert Panel recommended to provide meaningful contributions to daily intakes of important (or under-consumed) nutrients such as iron, zinc, folate, potassium, magnesium, protein and fibre. The Expert Panel was made up of nutritional scientists/dietitians from Canada, the United States, Australia, Ghana and India who were brought together last year to develop a single recommendation for pulse consumption. Panel members expressed concerns about developing a “daily” or “weekly” recommendation. The Panel instead suggested they could agree on an amount of pulses that provides meaningful amounts of important nutrients in the context of varied dietary patterns and nutritional challenges around the globe.  The Expert Panel concluded that eating ½ cup (100 g) of whole cooked pulses is a reasonable quantity to consume, fits with existing national food guide recommendations, and would make a “meaningful” contribution to daily intakes of iron, zinc, folate, potassium, magnesium, fibre and protein.

Spanish TV show “Mitos de los alimentos” featured Pulses

The well-known Spanish chef, CHICOTE, talked a lot about pulses on his last program about SUPERFOOD on March 27. Watch the episode here, and read an article about the feature on the Spanish IYP2016 website here (in Spanish).

All India Liquid Bulk Import Export Association Annual Meet, April 1, Mumbai

The annual meet of the ‘All-India liquid bulk import export association’ whose members are engaged in import / export of mineral oil, vegetable oil, industrial oil, chemicals, will take place with Mr. Chandrashekhar as the honorary advisor to the association. The International Year of Pulses will be presented to over 500 delegates from Indian bureaucracy, industry and trade (including some top industrialists). Special pulse-based dishes will be organised for the delegates, as well as a display banner.

Media Outreach continues to gain traction

The UK Daily Mail printed a story about weight loss research at St Michael’s Hospital Toronto, and how pulses can help you “stay trim”. Read the article here.

The Food Navigator featured an article on the Dutch take on the Eatwell initiative-their ‘Wheel of five’, which advises to halve meat consumption and promotes pulses. Read the article here.

The UNFAO Podcast TARGET: Zero Hunger had its fourth episode highlight one of the world’s most powerful super foods, pulses. More information, and the full podcast, available here.

Join us

Join the growing list of partners and organizations around the world planning and organizing activities to celebrate pulses. Contact:  iyp@emergingag.com

About GPC and IYP

Global Pulse Confederation has set aside $1.1 million to fund activities related to the International Year of Pulses. 33 national committees have been established by GPC members around the world to work with their governments, farmers, NGOs, retailers, food manufacturers, health and science organizations and UN bodies to make the year a success globally and in each country. For more information or to participate in any listed activities, please contact: iyp@emergingag.com