The importance of Fruit and Vegetables

The School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme is a government programme that entitles every child aged four to six in fully state-funded schools to a free piece of fruit or vegetable each school day; this equates to approximately 2.3m children in around 16,500 primary schools.

In January 2015, the Department of Health commissioned a survey of schools, parents and children, to understand satisfaction with the service and quality of products, awareness of the Scheme and the role of the scheme in developing healthy eating habits. This will help influence what improvements might be made in the future.

Key findings of the research:

Importance of the scheme

  • The scheme is widely considered to be important.
  • 98% of schools feel it is important to the school.
  • 93% of parents feel it is important to their child.
  • The majority of schools (86%), feel it has a positive impact on healthy eating.

Behavioural impact

  • 73% of schools have used the scheme to promote healthy eating and 50% of parents feel the scheme encourages healthy eating.
  • 75% of parents feel it is encouraging children to eat fruit and vegetables they may not eat at home.
  • 89% of schools consider the overall quality of fruit and vegetables to be good.
  • 88% of schools say the pupils either quite like or really like the fruit and vegetables. 

Quality and logistics

  • 96% of schools know when to expect their delivery.
  • 97% say the correct quantities of each product are generally delivered.
  • 97% of schools said their driver was polite. 


  • Pupils mostly like all items from the scheme, although they are less keen on carrots and sugar snap peas. Apples, bananas, citrus fruit and strawberries are most popular.
  • Grapes (17%) and pineapple (15%) were the most popular suggestions for inclusion in the Scheme going forward.

The full survey findings can be viewed at:

For any other queries about the Schools Fruit & Vegetable Scheme please contact the SFVS Helpdesk:

Phone: 01344 384 700                      Email:

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