Smith Hails EU Scheme To Make Scots Kids Binge Drink ...Skimmed Milk

21 April 2008
Alyn Smith MEP has welcomed proposals brought forward by the European Commission that mean an increased budget for free milk for schoolchildren in Scotland.
The scheme has been a success throughout other EU nations and Mr Smith wants to see the budget plundered by every school in Scotland. Not every local authority in Scotland has applied for the funding and so not every primary and nursery school is benefiting from the scheme. Mr Smith has also written to Schools and Skills Minister Maureen Watt MSP to ensure the government will be accessing the funding.

Mr Smith said:

“There is no question that school children in Scotland will benefit from more milk in their diets, and I'm delighted the EU has increased support for this. It is now up to every school in Scotland to get into this budget. Given increased concern over the diet and drinking habits of our children, it is all the more important to use every means at our disposal to encourage them into good habits young.

"I have written to all Local Education Authorities in Scotland to raise awareness of this fund, and to encourage all Scottish school children to enjoy locally produced fresh milk for free.

"Not only does this benefit the health of our youngsters but it helps struggling dairy farmers who have been hard hit over the past few years. This is a win-win budget, and will be a real advantage for the health of Scotland's future generations.”

Further Information

The EU School Milk Subsidy Scheme currently entitles primary school pupils and nursery children to a daily allowance of 250ml of plain or flavoured milk (whole or semi-skimmed) or the equivalent amount of plain yoghurt. However, under reforms worked on by Mr Smith as Scotland’s only full member of the Agriculture Committee, the subsidy for low fat milk has been increased. The European Commission are also revising and extending the range of products eligible under the scheme as well as streamlining the administrative process to make it easier for schools to apply.

Alyn’s letter to Local Education Authorities