A new school scheme was approved last Monday (April, 11th )by Member states at the Agriculture Council meeting in Luxembourg. The new scheme will unify the two currently separate school schemes – the School Fruit Scheme and the School Milk Scheme, with an overall yearly budget of €250 million (milk products: €100 million; fruit and vegetables: €150 million).
As for the Greek scheme for fruit and vegetables of the current year (2016-2017), the ministry of Agriculture has issued an invitation to tender that expired on April 6th. In the following days, a committee will decide on the offers that have been submitted. Last year the scheme didn’t start because of the lack of interest during the invitation for tender.
The new scheme will operate as from 1 August 2017 under a joint legal and financial framework. In most countries, children’s consumption of fruits and vegetables is declining and remains below the recommended daily intake. Drinking milk consumption is also declining and children’s consumption is shifting towards highly processed products.
Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, said:
“I’m 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.