BRUSSELS, April 11 (Xinhua) -- The agriculture and fisheries ministers from the 28 member states of the European Union (EU) on Monday adopted a regulation in Luxemburg aimed at promoting the consumption of milk, fruits and vegetables in schools.
The new scheme would have an overall yearly budget of 250 million euros (285 million U.S. million dollars), with milk products accounting for 100 million euros, and fruit and vegetables for 150 million euros, according to a statement of the agriculture and fisheries council.
The EU contribution is allocated to member states for the supply of these products in educational establishments.
The EU aid to finance the supply to children in educational establishments of selected agricultural products seeks to promote healthy eating habits and the consumption of local products, said the statement.
One of the novelties of the new scheme is a strengthened emphasis on educational activities, such as farm visits for children.
The scheme would be voluntary for member states to take account of the different consumption patterns across the EU.
It would be possible for participating countries and regions to choose which of the products eligible for supply to children in educational establishments they wish to distribute, whilst giving priority to fresh and healthy products, said the statement.
The school fruit and vegetables scheme and the school milk scheme are currently separate programs. The new regulation would merge them in a single one.
It would be applicable from August 2017 to take into account the periodicity of the school year, according to the statement.