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EU School Scheme

On 1 August 2017, the School Fruit and Vegetables Scheme (SFVS) merged with the School Milk Scheme (SMS) under a single EU financial and legal framework. Previously operating as separate schemes for milk, fruit and vegetables, the new merged scheme, like the individual schemes it replaced, is designed to help promote the benefits of healthy eating to children and encourage them to increase their consumption of fruit, vegetables and milk.

EU school fruit, vegetables and milk scheme

The merger followed recommendations put forward by the European Court of Auditors and other external evaluations for improvements in the set-up and functioning of the school scheme. The rationale behind the recommendations was that the combination of the SFVS and the SMS under a joint new financial and legal framework would simplify the rules, reduce the administrative burden and adopt a more targeted approach.

The new Scheme operates under a legal framework as follows:

Basic Regulation: Regulation (EU) 2016/791 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2016 amending Regulations (EU) No 1308/2013 and (EU) No 1306/2013 as regards the aid scheme for the supply of fruit and vegetables, bananas and milk in educational establishments

Financial: Council Regulation (EU) 2016/795 amending Regulation (EU) No 1370/2013 determining measures on fixing certain aids and refunds related to the common organisation of the markets in agricultural product.

Detailed technical rules: Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/40 of 3 November 2016 supplementing Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to Union aid for the supply of fruit and vegetables, bananas and milk in educational establishments and amending Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 907/2014.

Implementing Regulation: Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/39 of 03 November 2016 on rules for the application of Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to Union aid for the supply of fruit and vegetables, bananas and milk in educational establishments

The EU School Scheme is funded through the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and has an overall combined annual budget of €250 million. Ireland is entitled to an annual draw down, subject to satisfying the relevant EU Regulations of €1.75 m for the SFVS and €0.9m for the SMS. National funding is also made available on an annual basis to run both the SFVS and the SMS in Ireland.