European School Milk Scheme
As noted last month, the new EU School Milk Scheme – officially known as the EU School Fruit, Vegetables and Milk Scheme to reflect the merger of the previously separate programmes – came into force on 1st August. The implementation of the programme marked the end of a process that had been ongoing since the European Commission launched a consultation on reforming the scheme in January 2013.

With the new EU scheme now in place, we are now continuing to build on our efforts to secure a post-Brexit programme. This will be developed through identifying best practice from other EU states to scope aspects of their school milk schemes that could be implemented as part of a national school milk subsidy programme. This will be particularly important in the context of accompanying education measures, as whilst most EU states have opted to make such the measures a significant part of their new EU School Milk Schemes, the efforts of the UK in this area have been minimal. We have spoken to the European Commission, and have been told that copies of the school milk strategies of other member states will be published late in the summer once they have been translated.

Our efforts to secure political support for a replacement scheme are also continuing. As well as our ongoing engagement with Defra and Westminster parliamentarians, we are also reaching out to Scottish MSPs to encourage them to support a new school milk programme, and will shortly be making similar approaches to Welsh AMs and Northern Ireland’s MLAs.

Additionally, we are continuing to follow-up with Defra to secure statistics on school milk scheme uptake.

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