Update on the European School Milk Scheme
On 8th March, the European Parliament voted in favour of a legislation provisionally agreed with the Council of Ministers to merge the European School Milk Scheme with the European Fruit and Vegetable Scheme. The legislation was passed by a large margin of 584 votes to 94, with 32 abstentions, with Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Phil Hogan commenting that it was an “understatement” to say that the process of passing this legislation was “complex and complicated”. The legislation must now be formally agreed by the Council of Ministers, likely to take place in April 2016, before the revised scheme is rolled out in schools from August 2017. Defra will be required to develop a national strategy for implementing the scheme, with the Alliance to engage with Defra directly to shape the strategy and also ensure that Defra publicly consults with stakeholders when it develops the strategy.

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