A presentation given by DG Agriculture’s Unit dealing with the SFS, summarised the scheme’s current implementation period of 2013/2014 but also presented a couple of interesting findings from the 2012/2013 period:

- Over 8,6 million children in more than 61,000 schools benefited. In about 50% of EU MS up to 80-90% of all children were included. In general, children aged 6-10 were included, but some MSs start as early as 0-1-2- years of age.

- €90 million of EU funding is available annually (MS co-finance either at 50% or 25% rates). It will increase from 2014/2015 to €150 million with 75% - 90% co-financing rates (CAP 2020 reform).

- ’In addition to being given portions of fruit and vegetables, children are offered accompanying measures (farm visits, gardening sessions) to be co-financed by the EU as from 2014/2015.

- The vast majority of participating MS used up to 80-90% of annual budgets. There are just some countries that seem not to manage to use the funding available effectively.

- The implementation of the programme is multi-stakeholder and cross-sector, involving education, public health, agriculture and in some cases, social affairs and private sector.

- The presentation outlined further developments of the scheme for the period 2014/2015 and later:

- New indicative allocations for MS based on the higher budget have been adopted.

- Delegated Regulation 500/2014, providing for a definition and laying down eligible costs for accompanying measures has been adopted and published.

- National strategies and aid requests for 2014/2015 have been received from 25 MS within prescribed deadline (30 April).

- Calculations and adoption of final allocations for 2014/2015 are expected by 30 June.

- Update of Commission Regulation 288/2009 to integrate accompanying measures in provisions on aid applications, controls, etc. is starting now and will be finished by the end of 2014.

- Recommendations of the Expert Group on the implementation of accompanying measures.

- A joint framework for the distribution of fruit and vegetables and milk with stronger educational dimension adopted in January 2014.

A number of Member States gave interesting presentations on the way the scheme has been implemented in their countries: the Slovak Republic, Luxembourg, Italy.

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Last modified on June 4 2014.