European School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme (EU SFVS)

Country of implementation


Type of the practice

Educational programme

Initiator of the practice

Governmental bodies

Type of education

Primary and secondary

Age of participants


How many participants max can participate


Education form


Short description

The European School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme (EU SFVS) is an initiative implemented in various European countries to encourage healthy eating habits and increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables among school-aged children. The program is a component of larger initiatives to enhance child nutrition, encourage a balanced diet, and fight childhood obesity. Participating schools in the EU SFVS receive funds from the European Union and/or national governments to offer pupils free fruits and vegetables while they are in class. Throughout the school year, the program normally runs for a set amount of time, such as a few weeks or months. Based on regional tastes, seasonality, and availability, different fruits and vegetables may be offered. The goals of the EU SFVS include:
  • Promoting Healthy Eating
  • Nutrition Education
  • Increased Consumption
  • Awareness and Appreciation
The EU SFVS has improved nutrition education, encouraged healthy eating habits, and increased fruit and vegetable consumption among schoolchildren. The program focuses on schools, which allows it to reach a sizable section of the child population and promote a culture of health and wellness. Every year, about 3000 out of approximately 7000 schools may participate. Most schools in the Netherlands have participated at least once in the EU-Schoolfruit programme since 2009. In addition to promoting fruit and vegetable consumption in schoolchildren, another component is educating them about fruit and vegetables in the context of healthy food. Schools are invited to enter into agreement with parents and pupils on having regular fruit- and vegetable days during the whole schoolyear as part of their school policy.


The EU SFVS significantly contributes to improving the nutritional intake of school children by increasing their consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. The scheme promotes healthy eating habits and encourages children to adopt a balanced diet early on. The EU SFVS incorporates educational activities that enhance children’s nutrition knowledge, teaching them about the importance of fruits and vegetables for their health. This education extends to parents and educators, creating a broader understanding of the benefits of a balanced diet and increasing awareness about healthy food choices. The scheme provides access to fresh fruits and vegetables to all participating school children, irrespective of their socio-economic background.    The EU SFVS has demonstrated successful implementation and impact in several European countries. Its replicability depends on factors such as government support, funding availability, collaboration between stakeholders (schools, government agencies, farmers), and the commitment of educators and communities.

Challenges in implementation

Some challenges may include: 
  • Funding which is crucial for the sustainability and long-term implementation of the EU SFVS. 
  • The availability of certain fruits and vegetables may be limited to specific seasons. 
  • The distribution and storage of fresh produce require appropriate infrastructure and logistical arrangements. 
  • Children’s acceptance and preferences for certain fruits and vegetables may vary.