(UPDATED COVERAGE Feb. 14) Poised to celebrate the fifth anniversary of its Fruits & Veggies — More Matters campaign, the Produce for Better Health Foundation is honoring 21 retailers for commitment to the initiative.

The retailers are split into two categories, role models and champions, according to a news release from the Hockessin, Del.-based foundation. The foundation plans to identify and reference these role models in the ongoing public relations activities of Fruits & Veggies — More Matters.

The role model designation denotes top recognition from PBH: Ahold; the Defense Commisary Agency; Food Lion; Meijer; Redner’s; Rohrer Brothers; Safeway; Schnucks Markets; and SuperValu.

Elizabeth Pivonka, president and chief executive officer of PBH, said in the release the retailers went above and beyond in their diverse support of Fruits and Veggies — More Matters. The foundation launched the campaign in February 2007 to increase consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.

During the five years since the launch, Pivonka has consistently said the campaign can help increase the overall health of consumers as well as the bottom lines of fresh produce growers, distributors and retailers.

The vice president of produce and floral for Schnucks Markets in St. Louis agrees with Pivonka’s assessment of the value the More Matters campaign has for retailers who want to grow their produce revenue.

“We at Schnucks believe that the industry needs to support PBH as our voice to grow consumption,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien said Schnucks uses the MyPlate logo from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to supplement its More Matters efforts. The chain launched an Internet game in September called “My Top Plate All Stars” that used elements of the More Matters and MyPlate campaigns.

Players uploaded photos of their healthy meal plates and site visitors voted on the top 250. A panel narrowed the field to 50 and site visitors voted to determine the top five. The grand prize winner received a $5,000 U.S. savings bond and the runner up got a $1,000 bond. Places three through five won $500 bonds and all 50 finalists received a $50 Schnucks gift card.

O’Brien said the game was designed to get families talking about fruits and vegetables and encourage them to eat more fresh produce.

Although the Scnnucks game was unique, all role model retailers have promotions in place that include the More Matters logo. Other ways role model retailers earned the top honor from PBH include: adding the More Matters logo to circulars, point-of-sale signs and all forms of advertising; linked from their websites to the campaign website; created a More Matters section on their own websites; participated in PBH efforts as board members and by serving on committees; and by providing consumer columns for the More Matters website.

In addition to recognizing the More Matters efforts of the nine role model retailers, PBH also announced that a dozen retailers that have earned champion. Those retailers are: Basha’s, Big Y, Brookshire Brothers, Coborn’s, Donelan’s, King Kullen, Roundy’s, Savemart, United Supermarkets, Wakefern, Wal-Mart, and Weis Markets.

Examples of support from the Champions include: use of the More Matters logo in circulars, promotions, POS signs and in-store supplies such as roll bags; and linking to the www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org website.