Commission to distribute healthy meals to over 20 million children on September

Commission to distribute healthy meals to over 20 million children on September

To promote healthy eating habits among children, European Commission has decide the distribution of fruit, vegetables and milk products, as well as dedicated educational programmes to teach pupils about the importance of good nutrition and to explain how food is produced. This single scheme merges and optimizes the existing projects that last year reached over 20 million children. Although participation is optional, all 28 Member States indicated they will take part in the initiative in the 2017/2018 school year.

Phil Hogan, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, said: “I am very pleased that the new school scheme will be introduced tomorrow. 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. In addition, the new scheme meets my priority of simplification through the integration of the former school milk and vegetable schemes. Finally, I am happy to be involved with an initiative with Commissioners Andriukaitis and Navracsics to promote a healthy lifestyle and I am convinced that this scheme has a valuable part to play.”

Fresh fruit, vegetables and drinking milk will be given as a priority to school children. Processed products such as soup, fruit compotes, juice, yoghurts and cheese may also be distributed if this choice is approved by the national health authorities. No added sugar, salt and fat are allowed unless the national health authorities permit limited quantities.

Besides deciding on the exact way to put the scheme in place,like the inclusion of thematic educational measures and other agricultural products, Member States have the option to top up the EU aid with national aid for financing the scheme.

This 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, agricultural quality schemes.

Of the €250 million EU funding agreed for 2017–2018 school year, roughly €150 million will be allocated for fruit and vegetables and €100 million for milk.

Currently, 24 Member States take part in the old fruit and vegetable scheme and 28 in the old milk scheme. Last year, around 20 million children benefited from the milk scheme and around 11.7 million children from the fruit and vegetables scheme./IBNA

EU aid for school year 2017/2018 

 

Member State

Definitive allocation for school fruit and vegetables

in EUR

Definitive allocation for school milk

in EUR

Belgium 3 367 930 1 650 729
Bulgaria 2 677 109 1 167 367
Czech Republic 4 082 903 1 842 407
Denmark 2 386 393 1 606 402
Germany 25 826 315 10 947 880
Estonia 565 888 732 225
Ireland 2 007 779 900 398
Greece 3 218 885 1 550 685
Spain 12 932 647 6 302 784
France 17 990 469 17 123 194
Croatia 1 720 946 800 354
Italy 21 704 956 9 261 220
Cyprus 390 044 400 177
Latvia 813 091 745 497
Lithuania 1 134 661 1 091 333
Luxembourg 343 568 193 000
Hungary 3 885 599 1 972 368
Malta 372 747 144 750
Netherlands 7 063 251 2 401 061
Austria 2 946 591 1 278 933
Poland 14 985 916 11 047 202
Portugal 3 283 397 2 220 981
Romania 6 866 848 10 865 578
Slovenia 727 411 363 811
Slovakia 2 185 291 1 020 425
Finland 1 599 047 3 824 689
Sweden 0 9 245 859
United Kingdom 0 4 219 008
Total 145 079 683 104 920 317