Sweden to introduce school fruit subsidy

Published 29 February 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Apples are one of many eligible products.

The government wants to introduce a so-called school fruit subsidy in Swedish schools. It will apply from the autumn term of 2025.

The EU’s School Fruit Scheme offers financial compensation to schools that distribute fruit and vegetables during school hours and provide fruit to pupils. The aim of the scheme is to teach children about healthier eating and how food is produced. Research shows that it has increased fruit consumption among children and adolescents, according to the Swedish National Food Agency (Livsmedelsverket). The program is currently used by all EU member states except Sweden.

The government has now asked the Swedish Board of Agriculture (Jordbruksverket) to prepare for the introduction of school fruit subsidies from the 2025/2026 school year. Previously, the assessment was that the subsidy would require too much administration to be meaningful. There are also other issues, such as the fact that the subsidy is only 20 to 50 SEK per pupil, which does not provide much fruit per child.

– Therefore, we need to use the support in a smarter way, so that it creates added value for the schools. For example, it could be used for targeted initiatives over a few weeks to promote healthy eating habits and to arouse curiosity about new tastes, says Eva Jirskog, according to trade magazine Livsmedel i fokus.

The Swedish Farmers’ Association (Lantbrukarnas riksförbund – LRF) has been pushing the issue of promoting fruit in schools since the EU introduced it, and welcomes the fact that children can learn more about agriculture and how fruit is grown.

– It’s an important step towards healthy eating habits and good health, and it feels really good, says Marcus Söderlund, board member of the Swedish Farmers’ Association and chairman of it’s gardening delegation.

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