European commission – press releases – press release – millions of european schoolchildren benefit from healthy food thanks to eu programme omega nutrition apple cider vinegar

During the 2016-2017 school year, more than 12.2 million children in 79,000 schools took part in the EU fruit and vegetables scheme and around 18 million children took part in the EU milk scheme, as shown by the latest monitoring reports. This represents more than 74,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables and over 285,000 tonnes of dairy products, distributed mainly to children between 6 and 10 years old.

In addition to distributing these products, the EU school scheme promotes healthy eating habits among children and includes dedicated educational programmes about the importance of good nutrition and how food is produced.

Agriculture and rural development commissioner phil hogan said: “european farmers provide us with high quality, safe and healthy food, and through the school scheme, our youngest citizens gain the health benefits of these products while also learning at an early age where our food comes from and the importance of taste and nutrition.Member states

the commission is proud to play its part in this educational journey. €250 million from the common agricultural policy will ensure the continuous rolling out of the EU school scheme in the 2018-2019 school year."

Under the scheme, each school year €150 million is set aside for fruit and vegetables and €100 million for milk and other dairy products. National allocations for all 28 member states taking part in the scheme for the 2018-19 school year have just been approved and are expected to be adopted by the european commission by the end of march.

Countries wishing to take part in the EU school scheme must notify the commission by the end of january with their request for support. The indicative allocation of the EU budget to each member state is based on the number of schoolchildren in each country and, for milk, on the take-up of the previous scheme. National authorities are free to transfer a proportion (20%-25%) of the budget allocated from one sector to the other.Member states they can also notify their willingness to spend more than the amount of aid requested if other member states decline to take up their full allocation.

In addition to deciding on the exact way to implement the scheme such as choosing which thematic educational measures to use or which other agricultural products school children may receive, member states have the option to top up EU aid with national aid to finance the scheme.

The choice of products distributed is based on health and environmental considerations, seasonality, variety and availability. Member states may encourage local or regional purchasing, organic products, short supply chains, environmental benefits, agricultural quality schemes.

In 2016-2017, apples were the most widely distributed fruit, along with pears, plums, peaches, nectarines, oranges, strawberries and bananas. Carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers were the most popular vegetables.School year educational measures included farm visits, school gardens, cooking classes and/or competitions, lessons with nutritionists, games, etc. Milk, flavoured milk and fermented milk products such as yoghurts were the most popular categories of products under the milk scheme; cheese was also widely distributed.