UK opts out of EU scheme for free school fruit and veg

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Fred Searle

BY FRED SEARLE

UK opts out of EU scheme for free school fruit and veg

Britain and Sweden refuse EU offer of free fresh produce for 2017-18 school year

UK opts out of EU scheme for free school fruit and veg

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The UK has decided not to take part in an EU scheme to give free fruit and veg to school children, Farmers Weekly has reported.

EU funding worth €250m will provide children in 26 EU countries with free fruit, vegetables and milk for the 2017-18 school year.

But along with Sweden, the UK has declined to participate in the scheme for fruit and veg – for unknown reasons – although it will accept free school milk.

Under the €250m (£218m) programme, which aims to improve young people’s diets, roughly €150m (£130m) will be allocated for fruit and vegetables and €100m (£87m) for milk.

Money is allocated to different EU member states based on the number of school-age children in the country and, for milk, on the state’s previous use of EU funds. Countries have the freedom to request more or less money, should additional funding be available from year to year.

It is not the first time the UK has refused to participate in a similar EU scheme. Last April, the UK opted out of an EU plan to boost the number of school visits to farms and encourage youngsters to eat more fresh produce, Farmers Weekly reported. 

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