Parliamentary activity
The Alliance met with five parliamentarians throughout March 2016. These were:

  • Labour MP Jenny Chapman (Shadow Childcare Minister)
  • Liberal Democrat MP Mark Williams (Secretary/Treasurer, Dairy APPG)
  • Crossbench peer Baroness Masham of Ilton (Co-Chair, Health APPG; Secretary, Primary Care and Public Heath)
  • SNP MP Dr Lisa Cameron (Vice Chair, Dairy APPG)
  • Labour peer Lord Watson of Invergowrie (Lords Education Spokesperson)

The Alliance has further meetings agreed in principle with three other parliamentarians. These are:

  • Labour MP Andrew Gwynne (Shadow Health Minister)
  • SDLP MP Margaret Ritchie (Member, Environment Select Committee; Vice Chair, Health Select Committee)
  • Labour MP Diana Johnson (Vice Chair, School Food APPG; Vice Chair, Fit and Healthy Childhood APPG)

The Alliance updated its engagement material and approached a further 21 MPs. Of these, the office of one – SNP Health Spokesperson Dr Philippa Whitford – has already indicated that she may be willing to meet with the Alliance, pending confirmation from her researcher.

Two of the parliamentarians that the Alliance met with in February – Shadow Farming Minister Nick Smith and Liberal Democrat Lords Environment Spokesperson Baroness Parminter – have received answers to two written parliamentary questions each.

Smith asked what plans Defra has to participate in the revised European School Milk Scheme and what progress it is making on helping implement the scheme. Farming Minister George Eustice responded that Defra will use the period between spring 2016 and August 2017 to “consider the new requirements” of the scheme and “consult with interested parties”.

Baroness Parminter asked the Government what plans it has to develop a new strategy for the implementation of the European School Milk Scheme from 2017 and what plans it has to involve stakeholders in developing this strategy. Environment Minister Lord Gardiner of Kimble responded that all EU member states wishing to participate in the revised European School Milk Scheme will be required to submit a multi-annual strategy setting out their priorities, and the detailed rules for drawing up national strategies will be adopted by the European Commission in the coming months.

We will ask the MPs we met in March to take forward further activity following the Easter parliamentary recess.

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