Answer given by Mr Cioloş on behalf of the Commission
1. In 2009/2010, the overall uptake of EU funding available for the School Fruit Scheme reached 37 % with around five million children concerned. For the year 2010/2011, the uptake of EUR 90 million stands at 65 % with over eight million children reached. For 2011/2012, payments made at the 31 May 2012 represent 20 % of the budget available. However, taking account of the current economic difficulties and of the forecasted payments by Member States up to the 15 October 2012, the final execution 2011/2012 may reach a slightly lower level than in 2010/2011.
2. Because of the prevailing difficult situation, Greece has applied for a transfer of the unused funds 2011/2012 to the following school year. Since the financial ceilings relating to the School Fruit Scheme are controlled by school year and not by budgetary year, EU rules do not allow such a transfer.
3. The monitoring reports submitted by Member States to the Commission do not contain the quantities of organic products distributed. The Commission does not have statistics at this level of detail.
4. The promotion of organic fruit and vegetables is not intended as such in the School Fruit Scheme. However, Article 103ga of Council Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 allows Member States, when drawing up their strategies, to choose their products on the basis of objective criteria which may include seasonality, availability of produce or environmental concerns(1).
5. The rules of the EU School Fruit Scheme are the same for all Member States and the national co-financing rate cannot be adapted on the basis of the economic situation. However, Article 21 of the CAP 2020 proposals on the single CMO(2) foresees an increase in the co-financing rate from 50/75 % to 75/90 %.