Agriculture and rural development

EU School Fruit, Vegetables and Milk Scheme

EU School Fruit, Vegetables and Milk Scheme

School scheme
EU School Fruit, Vegetables and Milk Scheme

From 1 August 2017, the two current schemes - the School Fruit and Vegetables Scheme and the School Milk Scheme - will be brought under a single legal framework. The new rules aim at greater efficiency, more focused support and an enhanced educational dimension.

The new legal framework provides for a School Fruit, Vegetables and Milk Scheme as from 1 August 2017, aiming at durably increasing the share of these products in the diet of children, when their eating habits are being formed.

It contributes to the Common Agricultural Policy objectives of ensuring the availability of both current and future supplies and to the public health objectives of shaping healthy eating habits.

Main points:

Products to be distributed to schoolchildren:

  • Priority shall be given to fresh fruit and vegetables and drinking milk. In addition, Member States may distribute processed fruit and vegetables such as juices or soups, and milk products such as yogurt and cheese, to ensure a varied diet and address particular nutritional needs. Certain other milk products, such as milk-based drinks, may be allowed, but Union aid will only be granted to the milk component
  • Member States may include in the framework of thematic educational measures other agricultural products, such as olives and olive oil and honey
  • Member States' 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
  • In line with the objective of healthy eating habits, products shall contain no sweeteners and artificial flavour enhancers, and should aim to have no added sugar, salt, or fat (even if products with only limited quantities may be allowed after authorisation by the competent national health authorities)
  • In line with the objective of healthy eating habits, products shall contain no sweeteners and artificial flavour enhancers, and should aim to have no added sugar, salt, or fat (even if products with only limited quantities may be allowed after authorisation by the competent national health authorities)

Implementation:

  • A common legal framework will reduce the administrative and organisational burden and simplify obligations: Member States will draw up only one strategy, covering a period of 6 years, and submit only one annual request for aid; synergies will be possible as regards the required monitoring and evaluation reports and, in general, as regards implementation of the scheme (distribution of products, educational measures etc.)
  • The educational dimension is reinforced for a more effective achievement of the scheme's objectives. Member States shall accompany the distribution of products with educational measures in order to reconnect children to agriculture. Such measures may also concern related issues such as healthy eating habits, local food chains, organic farming, sustainable production, food waste

Budget:

  • The total EU budget is € 250 million per school year, of which € 150 million for fruit and vegetables and € 100 million for milk. Allocations for fruit/vegetables and milk are separate to take into account the differences between products and their supply chains, with built-in flexibility as Member States may transfer up to 20% (25% in duly justified cases) of the allocation from one sector to the other
  • The definitive allocation of Union aid per school year among the Member States participating in the school scheme is fixed in a Commission Decision

Legal references:

  • Regulation (EU) 2016/791 of the European Parliament and of the Council
  • Council Regulation (EU) 2016/795 with the indicative allocations for Member States
  • Commission implementing regulation (EU) 2017/39 and delegated regulation (EU) 2017/40 with the detailed, technical aspects for implementation. The Commission duly consulted experts, Member States and other interested parties and stakeholders during their preparation, in the spirit of Better Regulation

Background material:

Read the press release on the Commission decision fixing the definitive allocation of Union aid among Member States for school year 2017/2018.

Read the press release and the memo on the school scheme, upon adoption of the Regulation by the EP/Council in 2016.

Communication material:

The below material is available in 23 EU languages – click on the “language box” after the link and pick the language of your choice. 

School schemes - infographic

School schemes - poster girl

School schemes - poster boy