Objective: In 1990, the Department of Health in Western Australia (DOH) initiated a five-year campaign to increase awareness of the need to eat more fruit and vegetables and to encourage increased consumption. This paper describes aspects of the campaign and reviews the strengths and weaknesses of health and fruit and vegetable industry alliances to extend and sustain the campaign.

Method: The fruit and vegetable industry was engaged through information sharing, consultation, working groups and joint promotions. The partnership was examined in terms of six inter-sectoral action dimensions (necessity; opportunity and capacity to work together; established relationships for goal achievement; degree of planning; potential for evaluation; and sustainability of action).

Results and conclusions: There were both need and opportunity for each sector to work together. Health had commitment, expertise and resources to plan, implement and evaluate the campaign. Industry had established channels of communication within the supply chain. Sustained health sector presence provided incentive, endorsement and policy direction. Resources and infrastructure limited partnership sustainability. Greatest potential for success occurred when participants' contributions were closely aligned to their core business and there was a body responsible for co-ordinating action.