On December 15-16, the EU Commission will hold a conference to discuss the proposed School Fruit Scheme (SFS), intended as a measure to help combat rising obesity levels and unhealthy diets among young people in Europe.
The conference, School Fruit: a healthy start for our children – Promoting School Fruit Schemes in the European Union, will provide a platform for EU Member States to exchange experiences, ideas and opinions on how to plan and manage healthy food schemes in schools, implement best practice models and awareness-raising initiatives, and create a network of food experts to consult on specific dietary requirements.
22 million children in the EU are estimated to be overweight, and over 5 million of these are obese – a figure expected to increase to 400,000 every year. The SFS will encourage children to change their eating habits for a brighter, healthier future.
The Commission plans to use €90 million annual European funds to buy and distribute fresh produce in schools, as well as national and private funds from Member States who decide to adopt the scheme.
The SFS proposal comes after the June 2007 negotiations on the reform of the Common Market Organization for fruit and vegetables, and will be implemented at the beginning of the 2009/2010 academic year.
Places are limited, but anyone interested in the conference can watch it on a webstream online (webcast portal).
EU Commission – Agriculture & Rural Development