World School Milk Day and the European School Milk Scheme  
With World School Milk Day taking place on 27th September, the theme the SNMA chose for this year was the need for the Government to provide certainty about a replacement for the EU School Milk Scheme once the UK leaves the EU in 2019.
 
We commissioned polling from ComRes, which showed that 61% of people in the UK think that the Government should introduce a replacement for the scheme. The polling also found that:
 
  • 86% of adults in Britain agree that drinking milk is good for children’s health and development
  • 57% of adults in Britain agree that schools should be legally required to provide primary school pupils with milk
 
We also prepared a letter to the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, calling on him to replace the scheme – as well as the SNMA this was signed by LACA, the Oral Health Foundation and the Children’s Food Trust.
 
We drafted a press release for the local and national press highlighting both the letter and the polling, with the story being picked up by FarmingUK . We will continue to use this polling as the basis of comment and opinion pieces.
 
We have also contacted Defra to arrange a catch-up meeting, to discuss the future plans for a replacement school milk scheme in further detail.
 
In addition to this, we facilitated a range of MP visits to schools and nurseries on or around World School Milk Day:
 
  • David Hanson (Labour, Delyn) – photos here .
  • Mike Kane – (Labour, Wythenshawe and Sale East, Shadow Health Minister)
  • Sheryll Murray – (Conservative, South East Cornwall, Member of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee) – photos here .
  • Alex Cunningham – (Labour, Stockton North) (5th October)
  • Sue Hayman (Shadow Environment Secretary, Workington, date TBC)
 
We have also been monitoring for the publication of strategies for the scheme by other EU member states. The Commission has now published a webpage which will hold the strategies. However, only Croatia, Sweden and the Belgian region of Flanders have uploaded their strategies so far.
 
We have received a response to the freedom of information request we sent to Defra, to identify any gap between the amount of money allocated to the UK’s EU School Milk Scheme allowance and the amount of money claimed. Defra provided a table of money paid out to UK claimants between 2010/11 and 2015/16, which showed a broadly steady level of uptake from 2013/14 onwards. Although the 2017/18 figure for the new scheme superficially seems to show a slight drop in available funding, the amount of available funding in pounds is likely to be about the same due to the post-referendum fall in the value of the pound against the Euro.
  

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