Ferm launches “Appelbabbelen” (Apple chatting) in Flanders

Ferm launches “Appelbabbelen” (Apple chatting) in Flanders

Nederlandse versie onderaan / Version française ci-dessous

Leuven, 6 February 2021 - The National Happiness Survey conducted by Ghent University and various signals at all levels of life show that the coronavirus crisis is strongly affecting our mental well-being. Today over 78% of 18-34 year olds feel lonely. And those who are lonely are much more likely to be unhappy. In this context, Ferm is launching a new and very accessible ritual: the Appelbabbel (the Apple chat).

“Appelbabbelen” is taking an apple’s worth of time for each other. With this initiative, Ferm, the largest Flemish women's movement and service provider, is advocating for taking more time and attention for others, and not a moment too soon as life’s daily rat race, and now the coronavirus pandemic, make for trying times. "Appelbabbels can contribute to more happiness, connection and warmth in neighbourhoods", explains Monique de Dobbeleer, Director of Ferm. "An apple is not just a permanent fixture in our fruit basket. An apple is also a measure of time. Let's now regularly make an apple’s worth of time for each other."

Former tennis player Sabine Appelmans was the very first to try an Appelbabbel on the farm of fruit grower Karel Vaes in Hoepertingen on 29 January 2021. This is no coincidence. Apples, and other locally grown fruit, play a central role in this initiative. Thanks to the passion of the Flemish fruit growers, there is always a diverse offering  of the highest quality. De Appelbabbel thus also generates connection with our local fruit growers.

"We want to connect all Flemings as the peeling an apple and have a chat together, preferably with a locally grown apple to support local fruit growers," says Bout Holtof, Creative Director at Kunstmaan | Accenture Interactive. "This way we cater for what we are all seeking today: a bit of happiness and social warmth. As an agency that aims to improve people's lives, we can only take pride in this."

Appelbabbel activities and related facts are assembled on a digital platform: appelbabbel.be. There are enough to fill an entire year, such as blossom tours, orchard culture, apple activities for schools and companies, for childcare, and for healthcare. A National Appelbabbel baking day took place on Friday, 6 February, when people baked an apple pie to share with a neighbour, friend, acquaintance or relative.