Free school milk – for just one day

11 October 2001

Free school milk – for just one day

By Adrienne Francis

FREE milk is being issued to 50,000 primary schoolchildren as part of National School Milk Day which aims to boost sales.

The event, now in its third year, is part of the industrys bid to improve awareness of the nutritional and health benefits of drinking milk.

The Milk for Schools charity is supporting the special day. But trustee chairwoman Stephanie Spiers said it would not be a short-term fix.

“Anyone who thinks it is, is an idiot,” she said. “You want children drinking milk every day, so that it is habit-forming for later in life.”

The Midlands Co-operative, which supplies 14 local authorities with milk, is one business making inroads into the schools market.

Marketing officer Kate Fuller said the company had signed up 185 of 207 nurseries in Birmingham since July 2001.

She hopes “dry” schools not being supplied may be lured by a free fridge that comes with a Midlands Co-operative contract.

The Midlands Co-operative also employs a school and local milk facilitator to help promote milk products to a broader consumer audience.

In the East Midlands, Boultham Park Dairy, part of the Lincoln Co-operative, said the school milk initiative had been well received.

Despite the companys small share of the milk market, education officer Mike Bagelley said the response had been bigger than expected.

“We hope the scheme will help update the image of milk as a healthy alternative,” he added.

School teachers are being given information on how they can obtain a regular supply of milk from their local dairy.

Further information explaining how schools can obtain subsidies from the government and European Union for buying milk are also on hand.


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