24 May 2002

FWcampaigns for school milk

By Mike Stones

SCHOOL Milk Matters is the focus of FWs latest campaign dedicated to boosting consumption of EU-subsidised school milk.

We have joined forces with milk processor Dairy Crest to help farming families campaign to make more subsidised milk available in UK schools. The EU subsidises the provision of free school milk to nursery age children and subsidised milk for five- to 11-year-olds. But only 16% of eligible children regularly enjoy the reduced cost milk on offer.

Over the coming months our Farmlife Section will arm farmers and their families with the information they need to help their local schools claim the subsidised milk that is theirs by right. If all eligible children enjoyed school milk each day, not only would they help to build strong teeth and bones, they would consume 773,300 litres a day (1.4m pints a day). That would amount to sales worth nearly £128,000 a day or £640,000 a week at farmgate prices.

"Dairy Crest is delighted to be supporting the School Milk Matters joint campaign," writes David Flannigan, managing director of Dairy Crests Household Business Unit in this weeks Farmlife. "We are committed to the development and success of our school milk service and work hard to raise awareness among our local communities."

farmers weekly Editor, Stephen Howe, said: "Heres a simple idea that everyone in the industry can support in the run up to National School Milk week, backed by the NFU and others in the industry. We want to give you the power to make a real difference.

"Not only would greater milk consumption safeguard the health of our children, it would also help to support our hard-pressed dairy farmers now and, if the campaign is successful, in the future."

In the weeks ahead Farmlife will showcase the achievements of farming families who have done most to boost consumption in their area. Do not miss your opportunity to take part and win cash prizes. See Farmlife for details. &#42

The milky bottle kid…Tom Foxwell enjoys a drink.

&#8226 Only 16% of elligible UK children enjoy EU subsidised milk.

&#8226 The value of increased milk sales, in England and Wales alone, would be £27m a year.

&#8226 National School Milk Week starts on Oct 7.