Management committee of the 11 December 2007
Within the regular meeting of the Management Committee 'Fruit and Vegetables' on 11 December 2007 in Brussels, the afternoon has been dedicated to the 'School Fruit Scheme'. 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. The main issue however was to present to Member states delegations the draft version of the 'policy options' paper elaborated within the impact assessment 'School Fruit Scheme' for open discussion and opinion exchange.
The monthly meetings of the Management Committee 'Fruit and Vegetables' comprise delegates from all EU27 Member states, nominated by their competent services. These meetings serve to take decisions on the implementation of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) and its Common Market Organisations (CMO), in this case on 'Fruit and Vegetables'.
As part of the extensive consultation process within the Impact assessment 'School Fruit Scheme', Member states delegations in the regular meeting of the Management Committee 'Fruit and Vegetables' on 11 December 2007 were informed about the state of play.
The first item of the agenda was presentations of three external experts of models of school fruit schemes in the United Kingdom, France and Slovenia. In addition, each of the interventions was aimed at addressing a horizontal issue of crucial importance to any School Fruit Scheme:
- Prof Fergus Lowe, Bangor University, UK focused on the sustainable impact of 'School Fruit and Vegetables Schemes' on consumption. Elements of a successful scheme were demonstrated on the basis of the 'Food Dudes' programme in the Republic of Ireland ;
- Mr Laurent Damiens, APRIFEL, Paris, mainly spoke of the role of the fruit and vegetables sector in programmes aiming to increase fruit and vegetables consumption as part of a healthy diet as well as the possible impact and contribution of the sector ;
- Mrs Mojca Gabrijelcic, Institute of Public Health, Slovenia, again focused on the role of public health and the impact of healthy diets in the fight against obesity as well as the importance of a multi-sector approach combining the efforts of agriculture with public health and education .
The main issue of the meeting was the presentation and subsequent discussion of the 'policy options' paper as elaborated by the Inter-Service Steering Group (ISG) of the Impact Assessment. Member States shared their experiences and agreed that for such a scheme the pedagogical framework accompanying the distribution of produce is essential. The majority of Member States expressed their interest in a School Fruit Scheme at the European level but stressed the importance of flexibility in implementation and also, the need to clarify the eventual budgetary implications.
As a next step in the process, the final version of the consultation paper has been launched for public consultation on 18 December.