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School Fruit Scheme

EU initiative

This section provides a summary of the European Union's policy key aspects in the field of fruit and vegetables (background, legal basis, institutional actors, rules, etc.).

Background (situation in 2006)

With an estimated 22 million overweight children in the EU25 - of which 5.1 million were considered obese - the increase in child obesity can be described as an epidemic. The figure is rising, with 1.2 million children becoming overweight each year and 300,000 obese. In the context of the reform of the fruit and vegetables sector, the Council asked the Commission to come forward as soon as possible with a proposal for an EU school fruit scheme based on an impact assessment of the benefits, practicability and administrative costs involved.

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Commission's role

On 15 June 2007, the Council invited the Commission to come forward with a proposal for a school fruit scheme as soon as possible based on an Impact assessment of the benefits, practicability and administrative costs involved.

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Commission proposal

The Commission proposal for a School Fruit Scheme followed an undertaking made during the negotiations on the reform of the Common Market Organisation for fruit and vegetables in June 2007.

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Legal basis

In November 2008 a political agreement was reached in the Agriculture Council on the Commission proposal for a European Union-wide scheme to provide fruit and vegetables to school children. European funds worth €90 million every year will pay for the purchase and distribution of fresh fruit and vegetables to schools.

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Implementing rules

Detailed rules for applying the Council Regulation which forms the legal basis for a Community aid for supplying fruit and vegetables, processed fruit and vegetables and banana products to children in educational establishments, in the framework of a School Fruit Scheme, are set out in the Commission's Implementing Regulation which will enable the Scheme to start in the school year 2009/2010.

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Group of experts

A group of experts for technical advice on the School Fruit Scheme has been established in December 2009. The group will provide the Commission with expert input in a wide range of fields related to the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Scheme.

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Allocation for Community Aid

The definitive allocation of Community aid per Member State participating in the School Fruit Scheme is established in the Annex to a Commission Decision.

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Exchange rate for SFS

Detailed rules have been laid down for the School Fruit Scheme concerning the exchange rates of currencies of Member States that have not adopted the euro.

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Steering group

To make sure that all the possible economic, social, regional and environmental impacts are considered, the relevant Commission services were all invited to take part in the Impact assessment process. An Inter-service Steering Group (ISG) made up of the services concerned has now been established.

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Expert hearing

To kick-off the Impact assessment for a 'School Fruit Scheme', an expert hearing was held in Brussels on 24 September 2007. The meeting's aim was to give an overview of successful projects providing healthy food to school children in Europe. This provided focused input for the Inter-service Steering Group (ISG) which is in charge of the Impact assessment process.

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Advisory group

The 'Fruit and Vegetables' Advisory Group comprises representatives of the European fruit and vegetables sector: producers and traders, the processing industry, environmentalists, consumers and organic farmers.

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Management committee of the 11 December 2007

In this meeting three external experts reported on their experiences in the successful implementation of school fruit schemes in the United Kingdom, France and Slovenia.

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Public consultation

The Inter-Service Steering Group (ISG) drafted a consultation document pdf - 43 KB [43 KB] setting out four options for the European Union's role in a possible 'School Fruit Scheme'.

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Publications and documents

This page provides a selection of publications and documents of importance for the Impact assessment, listed in reverse chronological order.

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Presentation

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