On 27 May, the European Parliament adopted new common legal and financial framework provisions amending Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 and Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 as regards the aid scheme for the supply of fruit and vegetables, bananas and milk to educational establishments.

The new institutional framework provisions seek to sustainably increase the consumption of fruit, vegetables and milk by children and foster healthy eating habits through EU-funded programmes. The measure is therefore of a decidedly educational and social nature, being targeted at children, as well as seeking to extend the resulting benefits to socially vulnerable areas and populations.

These provisions were was adopted one week after the adoption of a French Government decision requiring major supermarkets to donate leftover produce, thereby drastically reducing food waste, and helping to remedy the social problem of undernourishment caused by the prolonged crisis.

In view of this:

1. Are plans afoot to introduce similar measures in the other Member States in a bid to enhance the effectiveness of these framework provisions?
2. Will the Commission seek to remove any obstacles restricting the implementation of this measure or ensure that the Member States are given the tools necessary to implement it?

Answer given by Mr Hogan on behalf of the Commission

The School Fruit and Vegetables Scheme (SFVS) and the School Milk Scheme (SMS) are EU-wide voluntary programmes aimed at increasing the consumption of selected agricultural products. The EU aid is granted for the distribution of those products and related measures.

Within the framework of accompanying measures, the Member States may decide to put in place educational measures which aim at raising awareness about agricultural, health and other related issues, amongst them also about food waste.

The abovementioned programmes do, however, not have any impact on, and do not interfere with, any decisions taken by national governments in the area of social security.

Within the framework of the strategy for Europe on Nutrition, Overweight and Obesity-related Health Issues(1), children have been identified as a priority group for action. In cooperation with the Member States, the Commission promotes healthy lifestyles, namely balanced diets and adequate physical activity.

With respect to facilitation of food donation in the EU and national measures taken to promote food redistribution, the Commission would kindly refer the Honourable Member to its answers to E-008448/2015, E-008887/2015 and E-009003/2015(2).

(1) COM(2007) 279.
(2) http://www.europarl.europa.eu/plenary/en/parliamentary-questions.html