EU School Fruit, Vegetables and Milk Scheme: evaluation and way forward

On 24th November, the conference ‘An EU School Scheme fit for the future’ on the EU fruit, vegetables and milk scheme took place in Brussels.
A consultation on the review of the scheme was launched in July. 
Some highlights of the recent external evaluation support study on the EU school scheme were presented. The study evaluated the scheme over a period of 4 school years (2017/2018-2020/2021). The rate of execution in European schools is 70% on average. The results of a survey interviewing families highlighted that children participating in the scheme show a more positive attitude to fruit, vegetable and milk products.
The results of the special Eurobarometer on the scheme were also presented. Among the highlights: 31% of people think that nuts should be included in the scheme. Furthermore, seasonal products should be preferred and the education on healthy and balanced diets should be the first priority. The scheme is based on the principle of Mediterranean diet.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) gave its recommendations to make the scheme more effective: the main points were simplifying the procedures by Member States, improving promotion and communication, broadening the choice of allowed products (e.g., including sweetened dairy products), promoting a more environmental-friendly packaging, and supporting producers.