ADOPTION OF SCHOOL MILK , FRUIT AND VEGETABLES SCHEME – 11 APRIL

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ADOPTION OF SCHOOL MILK , FRUIT AND VEGETABLES SCHEME - 11 APRIL
11 Apr 2016

ADOPTION OF SCHOOL MILK , FRUIT AND VEGETABLES SCHEME – 11 APRIL

Brussels Daily

SCHOOL FRUIT & MILKThe Council adopted a regulation aimed at promoting the consumption of milk, fruits and vegetables in schools.

Promotion of healthy foods

The new scheme will have an overall yearly budget of €250 million (milk products: €100 million; fruit and vegetables: €150 million). The EU contribution is allocated to member states for the supply of these products in educational establishments.

The EU aid to finance the supply to children in educational establishments of selected agricultural products seeks to promote healthy eating habits and the consumption of local products.

One of the novelties of the new scheme is an strengthened emphasis on educational activities, such as farm visits for children.

The scheme will be voluntary for member states to take account of the different consumption patterns across the EU. It will be possible for participating countries and regions to choose which of the products eligible for supply to children in educational establishments they wish to distribute, whilst giving priority to fresh and healthy products.

The school fruit and vegetables scheme and the school milk scheme are currently separate programmes. The new regulation will merge them in a single one.

The experience gained showed that continuation and strengthening of the two school schemes is of great importance, in particular in the current context of declining consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables and milk products, especially among children, and of an increasing incidence of child obesity as a result of unhealthy consumption habits.

The new regulation will be applicable from August 2017 to take into account the periodicity of the school year.

The Hungarian and Netherlands delegations voted against the adoption of the regulation and the United Kingdom abstained.

The new framework for the support of distribution of fruit and vegetables, bananas and milk to children in educational establishments, including the provisions on the amount of the Union aid, and how the aid is to be allocated within member states, requires the amendment of regulation 1370/2013 on aids and refunds related to the common organisation of the markets in agricultural products. It also amends regulations 1308/2013 and 1306/2013.

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