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Spanish fruit in Italian schools
Over the past few days, the issue about Spanish fruit being distributed in schools as part of the "Frutta nelle scuole" project has come back to the surface. But, although it may seem an anomaly, it's all part of a shared project.
It's too easy for Europe to be useful only when it sends CMO subsidies but to be considered a nuisance if fruit starts circulating on a community level. Without even mentioning that, according to the Regulation, fruit could be coming from all over the world.
It's actually the entire project that is organised badly, because complaints about quality have concerned Italian fruit as well. It's not easy to organise million of punnets and suppliers that can generate large quantities as needed. As for apricots, for example, Italian production is too fragmented to guarantee supplies.
This, however, doesn't mean it's normal for there to be Spanish fruit in Italian schools. The first negative aspect is that quality is not good, as logistic times demand for the fruit to be harvested when not fully ripe. It's the same old question, and one that is behind the drop in consumption.
There's just one solution, if we want to educate children to eat fruit. The project must be local and assigned to markets, cooperatives and POs. This way, the produce can be harvested the day before and delivered when ripe. At least when it comes to strawberries, apricots and cherries and peaches and nectarines for southern Italy.
It's not impossible, it just takes good common sense. When it's about the education of children, it's not important to boast about reaching millions of pupils. It's actually better to educate one properly.
Spanish produce should not be found in schools. It would be better to take pupils to a local business to make them try fresh fruit - this is what educating means.
Publication date: 6/11/2018
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