European School Milk Scheme
We contacted Defra last month to express our concerns that the delay to the planned consultation on the post-August 2017 European School milk scheme will leave schools with little time to prepare, and requested that the details of the changes be either communicated immediately, or that the changes be postponed.
Defra responded that they could neither provide full details (due to the election) nor delay implementation (due to EU law), but supplied a letter being issued by the Rural Payments Agency to all claimants in England that included details on changes to the rules on late payment claims, administrative penalties and flavoured milk. Defra added that they will be in contact again after the election with a copy of the national scheme strategy and copies of new forms. We will submit evidence to the consultation that will accompany this strategy once it is launched.
Additionally, both the Scottish and Welsh Governments have this month run consultations on the implementation of the new European School Milk Scheme. The Alliance responded to both consultations with submissions that focused on the need for changes to the schemes to be kept to a minimum, the urgency of considering new plans for a post-Brexit programme, and highlighting what should feature in the proposed educational material. The Northern Ireland government will be launching a similar consultation shortly to which we will also submit evidence.

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