To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what allocation the UK expects to receive from the European School Milk Scheme in each of the next three years.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment her Department has made of the potential effect of the revised European School Milk Scheme on dairy farmers in the UK.
The UK has operated the existing EU school milk scheme since the 1970s. This has made an important nutritional contribution, encouraging children to adopt healthy eating habits. The new scheme will operate from 1 August 2017 with an enhanced focus on educational measures to strengthen the links between the farming community and children, parents and teachers. The total budget for the scheme has been increased from €80 million to €100 million to encourage higher milk consumption. Now that the scheme has been voted through, we will consider the new requirements and consult industry.
Indicative allocations for each Member State for the period 1 August 2017 to 31 July 2023 are set out in the new school schemes regulations. The UK’s indicative allocation for school milk is €9,804,331 annually. Participation in the scheme is voluntary at the national level. Final allocations will depend on the amounts that Member States request as there is provision for re-allocating amounts that are not taken up in Member States programmes.
In addition to the European School Milk Scheme, the Department for Health funds a much larger domestic scheme that provides free school milk to the under 5s at a cost of around £60 million a year.