EPRSLibrary By / October 15, 2013

School Programmes in the area of Agriculture

There are currently two voluntary school programmes in the area of agriculture specifically targeting children in schools. The European School…

© Chad McDermott / Fotolia

There are currently two voluntary school programmes in the area of agriculture specifically targeting children in schools. The European School Milk Scheme provides school children with dairy products and the European School Fruit Scheme provides school children the distribution of fruit and vegetables. These schemes do not only have a nutritional character but also an educational character and are intended to encourage among children good eating habits. It is also noted that both schemes may positively contribute to promoting local production and markets, and in this way, to increase the distribution and consumption of local products. Under the European School Fruit Scheme, participating Member States are required to set up strategies including educational and awareness-raising initiatives.

© Chad McDermott / Fotolia
© Chad McDermott / Fotolia

The European Commission’s proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) after 2013 include a number of changes aimed at improving the effectiveness of the school schemes. Following the political agreement on the CAP reform reached on 26 June 2013 by the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council “the School Fruit Scheme and the School milk scheme are to be extended, and the annual budget for the School Fruit Scheme is increased from EUR 90 to EUR 150 million per year”.

Within the European School Milk Scheme, the Member States have had since 1977 access to Community aid for supplying milk and certain milk products to children in schools. Besides being a tool to dispose of milk products in order to balance the market and stabilise the market prices, the School Milk Scheme has always had also a role in stimulating the consumption of milk by young people. The scheme was revised in 2008, and its nutritional and educational character was further strengthened.

The European School Fruit Scheme emerged as a result of two parallel processes. Firstly, the 2007 reform of the first pillar of the CAP, i.e. Common Market Organisation introduced measures to promote consumption of fruits and vegetables, including encouragement for consumption schools. Secondly, European Union developments in the field of public health resulted in the adoption of the Health Strategy and the Strategy for Europe on Nutrition, Overweight and Obesity related issues in 2007 that explicitly referred to the need of improving dietary habits, provision of fruit and vegetables and promoting physical activity among school children.

Currently both schemes are under revision and on 28 January 2013 the European Commission launched a public consultation on the future of school schemes in order to assess the impact of both programmes and to analyse how they should evolve in the future, in terms of choice of products offered to children or supporting educational measures. The Commission intends to present the outcome of this analysis, possibly accompanied by a legislative proposal, at the end of this year.

Other international organizations are also involved in school programs on nutrition. In this regard, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) serves as a world centre for the collection of information on school milk systems and offers advice and assistance to countries wishing to develop such programmes. FAO has cooperated with a number of national organisations in presenting a series of regional and international conferences on the provision of milk to school-aged children. FAO launched the World School Milk Day in 2000. Since then, 70 countries have taken part in activities. World School Milk Day is celebrated on the last Wednesday in September, so this year the 14th World School Milk Day took place on 25 September.


The European Commission’s school fruit and school milk scheme/ Lars Hoelgaard. December 2010. 22 p.
High Level Conference on Monitoring and evaluation of EU Member States’ on nutrition, overweight and obesity related health issues. This paper explains the objectives and the achievements of both schemes.

European schools for healthy food: slow food in the canteen / Slow Food, 2012. 10 p.
A number of initiatives were identified as being progressive moves for Europe, among them being the EU School Fruit Scheme and the EU School Milk Scheme. These programmes suggest that a healthy diet can be promoted by providing all social classes easier access to fruit supplies and quality milk pro­ducts in conjunction with raising-awareness activities and educational measures aimed to teach children the importance of good eating habits.


Evaluation of the School Fruit Scheme / AFC Management Consulting AG, CO CONCEPT Marketing Consulting. European Commission, Agriculture and Rural Development, October 2012. 148 p. Synthetic summary (7 p.), leaflet (8 p.) and executive summary (13 p.).
This evaluation assesses the implementation and the impact of the EU School Fruit Scheme in the first two school years since its start in the school year 2009/2010. Fruit and vegetables are considered as food offering rather few calories per consumed quantity and can serve as substitutes for unhealthy products in the diet. The volume of the EU fruit and vegetables market has shown a declining trend in the last decade which suggests that consumption rates are even decreasing. By means of this evaluation of the School Fruit Scheme, the Commission contributes to the reporting obligations to the Council and the Parliament laid down in Article 184(5) of the Council Regulation 1234/20073 Establishing a common organisation of agricultural markets and on specific provisions for certain agricultural products (Single CMO Regulation).

Are the School Milk and School Fruit Schemes effective? / European Court of Auditors. Special Report n° 10, 2011. 70 p. Version in French.
The report highlights the need for both schemes to focus on providing foods of high nutritional quality and improving diets for them to be successful.The primary focus of the report was on the School Milk Scheme launched in 1977, however it was compared to the School Fruit Scheme, launched in 2009, because of similarities in the schemes goals and operation. Both schemes focus on improving consumption in the short-term and improving dietary habits in the long-term.

Measurement of administrative burdens generated by European legislation: administrative burden quantifications of School Fruit Scheme and School Milk Scheme / Andrea Renda, Giacomo Luchetta. Centre for European Political Studies, December 2011. 79 p.
This report mainly aims at providing a comprehensive analysis of the administrative procedures in place for the management of the programmes supporting national initiatives delivering fruit and vegetables, bananas, milk, and certain milk products in school, measuring red tape and burdens for educational establishments and other entities participating in the programmes. The two programmes in scope of this report are the School Fruit Scheme, as designed by regulation 288/2009; and the School Milk Scheme as designed by regulation 657/2008.

The EU School Fruit Scheme: a step towards a Healthy CAP?/ Monika Hartmann,  Eurochoices 9, n°2, 2010.  2 p.
Besides the traditional objectives of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) such as enhancing farm competitiveness and reducing income fluctuations, the School Fruit Scheme aims to improve the nutrition and health of Europeans.

Will European agricultural policy for school fruit and vegetables improve public  health? A review of school fruit and vegetable programmes / Joia de Sa, Karen Lock. European Journal of Public Health, Vol. 18, No. 6, August 2008. 11 p.
For the first time, public health, particularly obesity, is being seen as a driver of EU agricultural policy. In 2007, European Ministers of Agriculture were asked to back new proposals for school fruit and vegetable programmes as part of agricultural reforms. In 2008, the European Commission conducted an impact assessment to assess the potential impact of this new proposal on health, agricultural markets, social equality and regional cohesion. EU agriculture policy for school fruits and vegetables schemes should be an effective approach with both public health and agricultural benefits. Aiming to increase fruit and vegetables intake amongst a new generation of consumers, it will support a range of EU policies including obesity and health inequalities.

Stakeholder views


Europe’s School Fruit Scheme makes big impact on kids and families / Frreshfruitportal.com, 2 July 2013.
While European Commission documents state it is too early to draw “definitive conclusions” about the scheme, evaluations show it has been successfully embedded in participating countries, with strong potential to improve the eating habits of both children and parents.

Dairy industry stresses importance of the EU School Milk Scheme for educating children on a healthy diet / European Dairy Association, 23 April 2013. 2 p.
European Dairy Association (EDA) highlights the importance of education in positively influencing young people’s eating habits and asks the Commission to support promotional measures to increase the impact of the School Milk Scheme. EDA also suggests improvements to the current organisation of the School Milk Scheme that can contribute to a better functioning in those Member States where it currently runs suboptimal.

EU School Fruit Scheme budget to be cut by 30% from 2012 onwards / European Public Health Alliance, October 2011.
Currently, the EU School Fruit Scheme (SFS) is up in its second year of implementation, running in 24 Member States, reaching almost 5 million schoolchildren in 32.000 schools. However, in times of austerity, Member States in the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) have suggested a cut of 29 % in budget

School Fruit Scheme: excellent take-up by Member States / European Public Health Alliance, September 2009.
24 Member States have opted to participate in the first year of the the new EU School Fruit Scheme, which will make €90 million of EU funds available to provide fruit and vegetables to school children; this money will be matched by national and private funds.

Freshfel Europe welcomes progress on the School Fruit Scheme / European Fresh Produce Association, 28 March 2011. 2 p.
This position paper stresses the scheme has reached 5 million school children across the EU. The paper also stresses that the efficiency of the scheme could also be further increased if Member States and regional authorities would seek a greater involvement of the various segments of the fresh produce sector.

European Parliament

European Parliament resolution of 20 November 2012 on promotion measures and information provision for agricultural products: what strategy for promoting the tastes of Europe (2012/2077(INI)).

Proposed changes to school nutrition schemes. 7 May 2013. E-004996-13.

School Fruit Scheme. 29 November 2012. E-010814-12.

Increasing Community assistance to the School Fruit Scheme. 12 November 2012. E-010310-12.

Increased financing for the European School Milk Scheme and reduction in national contribution. 19 October 2012. E-009591-12.

EU School Milk Scheme. 28 November 2011. E-011058/2011.

European Commission

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council in accordance with Article 184(5) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 on the implementation of the European School Fruit Scheme, COM(2012) 768 final. Commission Staff working document accompanying the report SWD(2012) 435 final, 18 December 2012.
The short-term results provided by most of the national and regional evaluations indicate that it has led to an increase in the amount of fruit and vegetables consumed by children and the report concludes that, if the Scheme is given long-term continuity, it can be seen as an appropriate tool to exercise positive influence on children’s eating habits.

White paper on a Strategy on Nutrition, Overweight and Obesity-related health issues. COM(2007) 279 final / European Commission, 2007. 12 p.
This white paper focuses on the actions that can be taken at local, regional, national and European levels to reduce the risks associated with poor nutrition and limited physical exercise, while addressing the issue of inequalities across member states. In particular, the strategy: encompasses a range of Commission policies that can be, and are being marshalled towards the purpose of improving nutrition and preventing overweight and obesity.

International Organizations

Overview of worldwide school milk programmes / Michael Griffin. FAO, 2005. 10 P.
The aim of this paper is to give an overview of current experiences of implementing school milk programmes, to discuss general trends in the development of such programmes and to draw conclusions about their future role as vehicles for promoting milk consumption.


Factsheet. Agriculture – European food school scheme / Consilium, 25 January 2013. 2 p.
Statistics on EU budget and member states participation for the School fruit scheme (2009-2013).

European School Fruit Scheme: a success story for children / European Commission, Agriculture and Rural Development, 2012. 2 p.
Statistics on key figures for 2010/2011.

Case studies and Member States’ strategies


School Fruit Scheme Austria: National strategy 2012 – 2013 / Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Environment and Water, 2012. 5 p.


Stratégie régionale pour la mise en oeuvre d’un programme en faveur de la consommation de fruits et légumes dans les écoles de la Communauté française et de la Communauté germanophone de Belgique: année scolaire 2012-2013 / Service public de Wallonie, Direction générale Agriculture, Ressources naturelles et Environnement; Ministère de la Région de Bruxelles-Capitale Administration de l’Economie et de l’Emploi, January, 2012. 10 p.

Regional school fruit strategy: Flanders: Tutti Frutti School Fruit Campaign (SFC) / Departement Landbouw en Visserij, January 2012. 84 p.


National Strategy for School Fruit Scheme (in Bulgarian). January 2012. 22 p.


National strategy for School Fruit Scheme. 2012. 6 p.

Czech Republic

National strategy for School Fruit Scheme. 2012. 17 p.


National strategy for School Fruit Scheme. January 2012. 3 p.


National strategy for School Fruit Scheme. January 2012. 14 p.


Evaluation du programme  un fruit pour la récré: convention 2010-11: rapport final / Bruno Alarcon (et al.), coordination Martine Padilla. Ministère de l’Agriculture, de l’Alimentation, de la Pêche, de la Ruralité et de l’Aménagement du Territoire, Direction générale de l’Alimentation, February 2012. 153 p.

Stratégie Nationale de la France pour le Programme “School Fruit Scheme” / 2012. 7 p.


EU school fruit scheme: strengthening local businesses /   Jan-Paul Höllmer; Monika Hartmann. University of Bonn, Department of Agricultural and Food Market Research, 2013. 1 p (poster).

European School Fruit Scheme in North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany): does it work? / Sarah Wingensiefen, Gesa Maschkowski and Monika Hartmann. Bonn University, Institute for Food and Resource Economics, 2011. 1 p. (poster)

Strategy for a School Fruit Scheme pursuant to Article 103ga Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 in Baden-Württemberg in the implementation period 1 August 2012 – 31 July 2013. 2012. 13 p.

North Rhine-Westphalia: Regional Strategy for the EU School Fruit Scheme. 2012. 5 p.

Strategy for a School Fruit Scheme in accordance with Article 103ga of Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 in Rhineland-Palatinate during the implementation period 1 August 2012 – 31 July 2014. 2012, 27 p.

Strategy for a School Fruit Scheme pursuant to Article 103ga of Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 in Bavaria for the implementation period 1 August 2012-31 July 2013. 2012, 9 p.

Strategy for a School Fruit Scheme pursuant to Article 103ga of Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 in Saarland for the implementation period 1 August 2012 – 31 July 2013. December 2011. 6 p.

Strategy for a School Fruit Scheme in accordance with Article 103ga of Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 in Thuringia during the implementation period 1 August 2012 – 31 July 2013. 2012. 7 p.


National strategy for School Fruit Scheme. February 2012. 3 p.


Experiences of the EU school milk and school fruit schemes in Hungary = Az uniós iskolatej- és iskolagyümölcs-program tapasztalatai Magyarországon / Ildiko Stummer (et al.). Gazdálkodás: Scientific Journal on Agricultural Economics, Volume 56, Number 5, 2012. 10 p. Text only in Hungarian; abstract in English.
By analysing the experiences of the EU school milk and school fruit schemes in Hungary the authors can conclude that the educational institutions were satisfied with both schemes and are willing to continue to participate. The opinions of the participating deliverers and schools in the school milk and school fruit schemes are similar. Based on the opinion of the participating schools the benefit of the schemes is that children are consuming fruit and dairy products more often and consequently the nourishment of disadvantaged children has improved. The deliverers and schools agreed that their participation in the school milk and school fruit schemes increased the administrative burden of the school milk deliverers and schools.

National strategy for School Fruit Scheme. 2012. 5 p.


Strategy for School Fruit Scheme submitted by Ireland under Council Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 Article 103ga and Commission Regulation (EC) No 288/2009 for the 2012/2013 School Year / Department of Agriculture, Food and Maritime, 2012. 5 pItaly


More apples less chips? The effect of school fruit schemes on the consumption of junk food / Giorgio Brunello, Maria De Paola, Giovanna Labartino. Institute for the Study of Labor and Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, April 2012. 26 p.
The authors use scanner data of supermarket sales to investigate the effects of the EU School Fruit campaign, conducted in a sample of primary schools in the city of Rome during 2010 and 2011, on the consumption of unhealthy snacks. They find evidence that the campaign reduced the consumption of unhealthy snacks bought in stores located in high income areas. No effect is found in poorer areas. Repeated treatment does not strengthen the effects of the program.

School Fruit Scheme National Strategy: 2012-13 edition and multiannual guidelines / Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policy, 2012. 20 p.


Pasākumu ieviešanas plāns skolu apgādei ar augļiem un dārzeņiem (2010.– 2013.gadam) / Zemkopības ministrija, 2010. 24 p. Summary report in English (4 p.).


School Fruit Scheme Strategy for the 2010–13 school years. February 2010. 7 p.


Malta’s National Strategy School Fruit & Vegetable Scheme 2011-14 / Paying Agency, Ministry For Resources And Rural Affairs, January 2012. 14 p.


National strategy EU School Fruit Scheme: Netherlands / January 2012. 17 p. Amendment (March 2012, 3p.).


Implementation of CAP programs aimed at increasing the consumption of fruit, vegetable and milk products in Polish schools / Ewa Halicka. Warsaw University of Life Sciences, 2012. 8 p.
The Common Agriculture Policy’s Fruit Scheme and School Milk Program are EU-wide institutional attempts to encourage consumption of selected food products among children by increasing their availability in schools. The number of pupils participating in both schemes in Poland has reached more than 67% and 38% of the appropriate target groups. Pilot studies, carried out in 2010 and 2011, indicate what products are most preferred by Polish schoolchildren from among those made available to them through the schemes. Circa 86% of the surveyed children living in cities would like to obtain more milk products in schools, especially yogurts. In order to make both CAP schemes more nutrition-oriented the education component should be strengthened since the availability and the price are important, but not exclusive determinants of food choice.

National strategy for School Fruit Scheme (in Polish). January 2012. 9 p. Summary report in English (6 p.).


National Strategy School Fruit Scheme 2010 – 2013 / Ministério da Agricultura, do Desenvolvimento Rural e das Pescas, February 2010. 39 p.


Romania’s Strategy regarding the School Fruit Scheme for the School Year 2012-2013. 2012. 4 p.


Národná stratégia Slovenskej republiky pre program podpory spotreby ovocia a zeleniny u detí a žiakov v školách – „Školské ovocie“ na školský rok 2012-2013. January 2012. 6 p. Summary report in English (5 p.).


Report of the Health in All Policies Focus Area Group on School Fruit Scheme / Linden Farrer, Tina Lesnik and Mojca Gabrijelčič Blenkuš. Crossing Bridges project, May 2012 42 p.
This report describes work carried out by EuroHealthNet and the National Institute of Public Health of the Republic of Slovenia, in preparing and managing a survey for civil servants involved in the EU SFS at different ministries across the European Union. The aim of the work was not to evaluate the effectiveness of the scheme per se, as the EC has itself commissioned an evaluation of “the imple-mentation and the effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and relevance of the implementation of the School Fruit Scheme”, which will deliver a report to the Council and the European Parliament by August 2012. Instead, our aim was to investigate the means of cross-sectoral collaboration in the EU SFS, to discover the impacts that this scheme has had on the different sectors involved, and to learn lessons from it so that they can be applied to other collaborative initiatives in the future.

Strategy for the Implementation of the School Fruit Scheme in Slovenia for 2011-2012. January 2011. 7 p.


La PAC en las escuelas / Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente, 2013. 9 p.
Overview of the School Milk Scheme and School Fruit Scheme in Spain.

Plan de consumo de fruta y verdura en las escuelas 2013-2014: España / Gobierno de España, 2013. 27 p.

United Kingdom

EU School Fruit Scheme: Scottish Government National Strategy. January 2010. 3 p.

Related legislative procedure(s)

Legislation in force

School Fruit Scheme

Council Regulation (EC) No 13/2009 of 18 December 2008 amending Regulations (EC) No 1290/2005 on the financing of the common agricultural policy and (EC) No 1234/2007 establishing a common organisation of agricultural markets and on specific provisions for certain agricultural products (Single CMO Regulation) in order to set up a School Fruit Scheme.

Commission Regulation (EC) No 288/2009 of 7 April 2009 laying down detailed rules for applying Council Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 as regards 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. Last consolidated version (1 July 2013).

Commission Implementing Decision of 26 March 2013 on the definitive allocation of European Union aid to Member States under a School Fruit Scheme for the period from 1 August 2013 to 31 July 2014 (C(2013) 1730 final).

School Milk Scheme

Commission Regulation (EC) No 657/2008 of 10 July 2008 laying down detailed rules for applying Council Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 as regards Community aid for supplying milk and certain milk products to pupils in educational establishments. Last consolidated version (11 October 2011).

European Commission’s proposals

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products (Single CMO Regulation). COM(2011) 626 final/2, 19 October 2011. (Procedure file: 2011/281(COD)).

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules for direct payments to farmers under support schemes within the framework of the Common Agricultural Policy. COM(2011) 625 final/2, 19 October 2011. (Procedure file: 2011/0280(COD)).

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the financing, management and monitoring of the Common Agricultural Policy. COM(2011) 628 final/2, 19 October 2011.(Procedure file: 2011/0288(COD)).

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) COM(2011) 627 final/2, 19 October 2011. (Procedure file: 2011/0282(COD)).

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