No more fruit for school students
Late last week the six suppliers, who provide over a million pieces of fruit to more than 350 thousand students every week, notified schools that they will no longer be delivering the Schoolfruit.
Schoolfruit was founded in 2010 and is 75% subsidized by the European Commission. Each week students get three pieces of fruit and vegetables, which is accompanied by lessons on healthy eating. This is to help address the growing problem of unhealthy eating and obesity in Europe.
According to the suppliers it has become too risky to deliver to schools because of the demands set by the EU and the Dutch government. "We need to fund everything ourselves, while we do not know if we will eventually get the full subsidy because of some tricky conditions", says director Peter de Boer from the supplier schoolfruit.nu. "The EU wants us to supply different kinds of fruit, but sometimes the price of the most expensive fruit is not fully reimbursed. We continue to push for a workable arrangement with the Ministry of Economic Affairs."
The Ministry is very surprised about this step taken by the suppliers. According to a spokesperson the suppliers know about the European conditions and they themselves applied for accreditation to deliver. "We won't be forced to act outside the prescribed rules, because the suppliers don't find it financially pleasing enough," said the spokesperson. "They chose now themselves to withdraw at the last moment."
The Ministry is still in contact with the European Commission regarding certain parts of the conditions, said the spokesperson. "Those discussions are still ongoing.