`Call to Promote Olive Oil in Europe's Schools - Olive Oil Times

Call to Promote Olive Oil in Europe's Schools

Nov. 5, 2012
Julie Butler

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Iratxe García Pérez

European school­child­ren could be given sub­si­dized olive oil if a pro­posal from Spanish Members of the European Parliament goes ahead.

Existing EU schemes pro­mote con­sump­tion of milk and fruit in schools and mem­bers say a sim­i­lar one should cover olive oil.

Iratxe García Pérez, Sergio Gutiérrez Prieto, Alejandro Cercas and Ricardo Cortés Lastra tabled the pro­posal as part of ongo­ing nego­ti­a­tions on the next round of EU agri­cul­ture fund­ing:

Olive oil is the key ele­ment of the Mediterranean diet,” the amend­ment states. Various stud­ies pub­lished over the last few decades have reported a link between eat­ing olive oil and improved car­dio­vas­cu­lar health, a stronger immune sys­tem and keep­ing other major pub­lic health prob­lems under con­trol.”

Olive oil con­sump­tion in the EU needs to be pro­moted. With this in mind, the Commission is urged to design, within one year of the entry into force of this Regulation, a pro­gramme sim­i­lar to those aimed at pro­mot­ing the con­sump­tion of dairy prod­ucts and fruit and veg­eta­bles in edu­ca­tional and health care estab­lish­ments.”

EU fund­ing pro­vided to Member States that decide to par­tic­i­pate would be sim­i­lar to that pro­vided for the exist­ing pro­grammes men­tioned above,” they said.

The four mem­bers of Spain’s main oppo­si­tion party, the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), sit on the European Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, which is cur­rently work­ing its way through more than 7,000 pro­posed changes to the EC’s pro­posed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform.

García Pérez has a key role in these nego­ti­a­tions as shadow rap­por­teur for what’s known as the Single CMO reg­u­la­tion.

The Committee’s final posi­tion is expected to be agreed by a vote in December or January.

Under the EU School Fruit Scheme, 290 mil­lion por­tions — mainly apples, oranges, bananas, car­rots, toma­toes and cucum­bers — were dis­trib­uted to 8.1 mil­lion stu­dents in 2010/11 at a cost of €90 mil­lion in EU fund­ing.

The scheme, which must be co-financed by national or pri­vate funds, aims to increase the low con­sump­tion of fruit and veg­eta­bles among chil­dren.

Similarly, the School Milk Scheme pro­motes dairy prod­ucts. In the 2007 – 2008 school year it received more than €55 mil­lion in EU sub­si­dies and saw nearly 300,000 tons of milk dis­trib­uted to schools across Europe. It has since been extended to other pro­duce, includ­ing cheeses and fer­mented milk prod­ucts.


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