The Department of Health has confirmed that the scheme will continue to run in its current format until at least 2013, when the Primary Care Trusts will cease to exist.Fresh Produce Consortium
chief executive Nigel Jenney said:
"We are delighted that FPC has helped to secure a reprieve for this highly successful Scheme. Thanks to the tremendous support from the fresh produce industry, schools and families we have averted the removal of free healthy snacks threatened by Government spending cuts."
The School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme provides 4-6 year olds in 16,000 schools in England with a free piece of fruit or a vegetable every day. The scheme is delivered on behalf of Primary Care Trusts through a best practice central procurement process. The scheme’s future, in particular its central procurement process, was at risk under the recent Government’s spending review.
"Ten pence a day is a small price to pay to help combat rising obesity and poor diet among children", Jenney added.
"The School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme in England has proved that it can increase consumption of fresh produce and is well placed to give youngsters a head start for eating a healthy diet. We recognise that there might still be pressure on the continuation of the central procurement process for the Scheme beyond 2013 and FPC will persist in calling for its secure future."