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€250 million for EU schoolchildren to receive fruit, vegetables and milk

Since the 1st August 2017, the new fruit, vegetable and milk scheme funded by the EU has been implemented and will be running as of the start of the 2017-2018 school year. Out of the €250 million approved for the 2017-2018 school year, about €150 million will be allocated to fruit and vegetables and €100 million to milk. France has been allocated €17.99 million for fruit and vegetables and €17.12 million for milk for the 2017-2018 school year. 

Until now, the EU financed two separate schemes, one in favour of milk consumption, the other in favour of fruit and vegetable consumption. The Commission explains that these two sectors have been brought together with the aim to “encourage healthy food habits amongst children” and “explain to schoolchildren the importance of good nutrition and food production”. Phil Hogan, the EU Agricultural Commissioner says that “The scheme provides valuable support to millions of European schoolchildren and thousands of farmers in every Member State. Such support has proven particularly important for farmers in recent years and the increased funding will enhance the value of this support.”

The Commissioner explains that fresh fruit, vegetables and milk will be given priority, but that processed products such as soup, fruit compotes, juice, yoghurt and cheese may also be distributed if approved by the national health authorities. No added sugar, salt or fat are permitted unless approved by the authorities. 

The Commission has explained that the “choice of products shall be based on health and environmental considerations, seasonality, variety and availability with priority to EU products. Member States may encourage local or regional purchasing, organic products, short supply chains, environmental benefits and agricultural quality schemes.”

Publication date: 8/9/2017


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