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European Commission - Press release

Millions of European schoolchildren benefit from healthy food thanks to EU programme

Brussels, 15 March 2018

Over 30 million children across the EU receive milk, fruit and vegetables under the EU's School Scheme.

During the 2016-2017 school year, more than 12.2 million children in 79,000 schools took part in the EU fruit and vegetables scheme and around 18 million children took part in the EU milk scheme, as shown by the latest monitoring reports. This represents more than 74,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables and over 285,000 tonnes of dairy products, distributed mainly to children between 6 and 10 years old.

In addition to distributing these products, the EU school scheme promotes healthy eating habits among children and includes dedicated educational programmes about the importance of good nutrition and how food is produced.

Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Phil Hogan said: “European farmers provide us with high quality, safe and healthy food, and through the School Scheme, our youngest citizens gain the health benefits of these products while also learning at an early age where our food comes from and the importance of taste and nutrition. The Commission is proud to play its part in this educational journey. €250 million from the Common Agricultural Policy will ensure the continuous rolling out of the EU School Scheme in the 2018-2019 school year."

Under the scheme, each school year €150 million is set aside for fruit and vegetables and €100 million for milk and other dairy products. National allocations for all 28 Member States taking part in the scheme for the 2018-19 school year have just been approved and are expected to be adopted by the European Commission by the end of March.

Background

Countries wishing to take part in the EU school scheme must notify the Commission by the end of January with their request for support. The indicative allocation of the EU budget to each Member State is based on the number of schoolchildren in each country and, for milk, on the take-up of the previous scheme. National authorities are free to transfer a proportion (20%-25%) of the budget allocated from one sector to the other. They can also notify their willingness to spend more than the amount of aid requested if other Member States decline to take up their full allocation.

In addition to deciding on the exact way to implement the scheme such as choosing which thematic educational measures to use or which other agricultural products school children may receive, Member States have the option to top up EU aid with national aid to finance the scheme.

The choice of products distributed is based on health and environmental considerations, seasonality, variety and availability. Member States may encourage local or regional purchasing, organic products, short supply chains, environmental benefits, agricultural quality schemes.

In 2016-2017, apples were the most widely distributed fruit, along with pears, plums, peaches, nectarines, oranges, strawberries and bananas. Carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers were the most popular vegetables. Educational measures included farm visits, school gardens, cooking classes and/or competitions, lessons with nutritionists, games, etc. Milk, flavoured milk and fermented milk products such as yoghurts were the most popular categories of products under the milk scheme; cheese was also widely distributed.

 

Allocation per Member State for the 2018-19 school year

Member State      

School fruit and vegetables (€)

School milk
(€)

Belgium

3 405 459

1 613 200

Bulgaria

2 590 974

1 130 879

Czech Republic

3 956 176

1 785 706

Denmark

2 290 761

1 460 645

Germany

24 868 897

10 552 859

Estonia

547 336

724 335

Ireland

1 757 779

900 398

Greece

3 218 885

1 550 685

Spain

16 529 545

7 101 663

France

17 990 469

17 123 194

Croatia

1 664 090

800 354

Italy

20 857 865

8 924 496

Cyprus

290 000

500 221

Latvia

785 115

733 945

Lithuania

1 099 281

1 076 520

Luxembourg

335 511

200 000

Hungary

3 747 262

1 916 173

Malta

319 341

199 517

Netherlands

6 782 991

2 401 061

Austria

2 832 220

1 232 449

Poland

14 532 073

10 846 847

Portugal

3 283 397

2 220 981

Romania

6 866 848

10 743 836

Slovenia

703 870

353 423

Slovakia

2 113 724

990 350

Finland

1 599 047

3 824 689

Sweden

0

9 184 818

United Kingdom

0

4 937 840

Total

144 968 917

105 031 083

More information

Member States' monitoring reports on the EU school fruit and vegetables scheme in 2016-2017

EU school fruit & vegetable and milk scheme

Indicative allocations of aid by Member State

 

 

 

 

 

IP/18/1823

Press contacts:

General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email


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