Parliamentary activity
Meetings and engagement

Two meetings took place on 7th September in the House of Commons:

  • Sharon Hodgson MP, Chair of the School Food APPG  
  • The office of Rishi Sunak MP, Member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee
The Alliance met with Sharon Hodgson MP, the Chair of the All Party Group on School Food and a long-time supporter of school milk. Our discussions focused on the SNMA’s concerns over the EU School Milk Scheme and what would follow it, the School Food Standards and the Eatwell Guide. Ms Hodgson expressed her enthusiasm for Dr Hilary to address the All Party Group on School Food on the Alliance’s behalf in the near future.
We also met with Isaac Delestre, parliamentary researcher to Conservative MP Rishi Sunak – a member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee. We outlined our concerns regarding the need to replace the current EU School Milk Scheme with a national programme, discussed the importance of school and nursery milk to the dairy sector, and exchanged views on the impact of the changes to the Eatwell Guide.
We are currently seeking to re-arrange two meetings for after the summer Party Conference recess:
  • Diana Johnson MP, Vice Chair of the School Food APPG
  • Lord Lexden, peer with interest in school milk

In the wake of World School Milk Day, we are also planning to approach the MPs representing the ten areas that faired worst on our obesity/dental health league table to arrange meetings.

The date for the SNMA drop-in event, to be sponsored by Labour MP Nic Dakin, has been confirmed as 2nd November.

Additionally, it has been confirmed that Dr Hilary will address the APPG on School Food on 16th November.

House of Commons written questions

As noted in the previous newsletter, prior to the summer recess, Conservative MP Simon Hoare tabled two questions on the Eatwell Guide, asking what representations the Department of Health has received in references to dairy products in the Guide and when Public Health England plans to publish its report on revising the Guide. Responding for the Department for Health, Public Health and Innovation Minister Nickola Blackwood said that representations about dairy contribution towards diet have been received from the Farmers’ Union of Wales, Dairy UK and the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board. She added that the report on the Eatwell Guide would be published before the end of the year.
Additionally, Labour MP Julie Elliot asked the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if her Department will introduce a new programme to replace the EU School Milk Scheme after the UK's exit from the EU. This issue was also raised in a question tabled by Conservative MP Martyn Day. In response, Farming Minister George Eustice MP said that current funding arrangements would remain in place until the UK departed the EU, and that the Government would work with industry and the public to develop replacement programmes where appropriate.

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