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New EU School Scheme to Promote Healthy Eating Habits

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New EU School Scheme to Promote Healthy Eating Habits

New EU School Scheme to Promote Healthy Eating Habits
August 07
09:00 2017

The new EU scheme for distribution of milk, fruit and vegetables at schools has come into force, ahead of the new school year. Aimed at promoting healthy eating habits among children, the scheme will also include dedicated educational programmes on nutrition.

The new scheme merges and optimises the existing projects that last year reached already over 20 million children. All 28 Member States indicated they will take part in the initiative in 2017/2018. They are free to decide how exactly the programme will work in schools on their territory, and to top up the €250 million of EU funding with dedicated national funds.

Fresh fruit, vegetables and drinking milk will be given as a priority to school children. Processed products such as soup, fruit compotes, juice, yoghurts and cheese may also be distributed if this choice is approved by the national health authorities. No added sugar, salt and fat are allowed unless the national health authorities permit limited quantities.

Besides deciding on the exact way to put the scheme in place, like the inclusion of thematic educational measures and other agricultural products, Member States have the option to top up the EU aid with national aid for financing the scheme.

This 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.

Of the €250 million EU funding agreed for 2017–2018 school year, roughly €150 million will be allocated for fruit and vegetables and €100 million for milk.

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