The allocation of EU aid under the School Fruit Scheme for the 2012/2013 school year has been backed by Member States in the Management Committee yesterday and will be formally adopted by the Commission in the coming weeks.
The EU funding of € 90 million will be allocated to the 24 participating Member States as proposed by the Commission, based on the population of 6-10 year old children and the needs expressed by each participating Member State. (Sweden, Finland and UK have again opted not to participate.)
The main beneficiaries of the Scheme in 2012/2013 will be Italy, who is set to receive over € 20.5 million, followed by Germany (€ 11.6 million), Romania (€ 9.8 million), Poland (€ 9.2 million), France (€ 5.6 million) and Spain (€ 4.8 million).
These EU funds need to be co-financed at rates between 50% and 75%, i.e. they must be matched by national and/or private contributions.
Launched in 2009, school year 2012/2013 will be the 4th year of the School Fruit Scheme whose main objective is to increase the low consumption of fruit and vegetables among schoolchildren by durably increasing the share of those products in their diets when their eating habits are being formed.
Figures for 2010/2011 show that more than 8 million children benefitted from the Scheme by receiving portions of fruit and vegetables in schools.
In its CAP 2020 reform proposals, the Commission is proposing to further strengthen the Scheme and allow even more children to benefit, by proposing to raise the overall EU budget available for the Scheme to € 150 million, to increase the rates of co-financing and to extend the list of eligible measures.