11 Apr 2016
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 11 APRILBrussels Daily
Green light for new School Scheme for Fruit, Vegetables and Milk
A new single framework for school schemes distributing fruits, vegetables and milk to schoolchildren will be operational as from August 2017 following today’s decision by Agriculture Ministers in the Council meeting in Luxembourg. Member States’ support comes after the positive vote by the European Parliament of the proposal presented by the European Commission to make available for this purpose €250 million per year from the EU budget. Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, today in Luxembourg, said: “I am delighted with the successful conclusion of the reform and thank the Parliament and the Council for their constructive cooperation throughout the process that started way back in January 2014. This is an important measure to bring sustained changes in children’s eating habits and invest in a healthier lifestyle, in line with the challenges that our society faces. It is also a great opportunity to strengthen the links between the farming community and children, their parents and teachers. Last but not least, the increase in its budget at times where financial resources are scarce and new priorities are emerging provides an appropriate signal to farmers and markets under pressure “. The School milk scheme was set up in 1977 and the School fruit scheme in 2009. Around 20 million children benefit from the milk scheme and around 10 million from the fruit and vegetables scheme per year. Participation will continue to be voluntary for Member States. Further information as well as a Q&A is available online.