The study evaluated whether the EU School fruit, vegetables and milk scheme (the ‘Scheme’) over the period 2017 to 2022 was effective in increasing the consumption and demand of the products included, contributing to healthy eating habits and reconnection children to agriculture, is relevant to the needs and wishes of European citizens and adds value to Member States’ national initiatives and priorities.
The study drew on several research methods:
- desk research,
- literature review,
- eight case studies,
- four online surveys targeting parents, teachers, national stakeholders and stakeholders at EU level.
It found that the Scheme has been effective in increasing the consumption and demand of fruit, vegetables, milk and milk products and fostering healthy eating habits in the short term. The Scheme, especially activities regarding fruit and vegetables, is considered relevant in promoting healthy eating habits and is in alignment with the majority of the national FBDGs. The Scheme is considered exemplary in providing access to nutritious products for children from socio-economically vulnerable backgrounds and allowing a large degree of subsidiarity for the Member States. The study identified significant volume, scope, role, process and innovation effects of the Scheme. Given the number of participants reached and the lack of similar programmes at the MS level, the Scheme holds a high EU-added value.
The study contributes to the review of the Scheme that has been launched by the European Commission as part of the Farm to Fork Strategy.