Cool plan for school milk

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Another player has joined Fonterra's milk in schools programme which has been rolled out nationally after being piloted in Northland last year.

Whiteware manufacturer Fisher & Paykel will provide the dairy giant with specially-designed fridges at a discount to allow all 350,000 primary school children throughout the country to be supplied with the UHT milk to keep it cold.

Last year, 120 Northland schools received free milk but some schools complained about a lack of space for a storage fridge.

The deal to supply free milk was brokered after months of talks between Northland and Government health officials and Fonterra after Manaia PHO boss Chris Farrelly pushed for the scheme.

Under the scheme, schools opt to receive a daily serving of 180ml of low-fat milk for each participating child each day. Fonterra has vowed to provide fridges to keep it cool and an associated recycling programme.

The programme rolled-out in Southland in term 1 this year.

A Fonterra spokesperson said feedback from the Northland pilot showed the importance of providing fridges that suited the school's environment.

It is expected that by the end of term 1 next year, all schools that want to take part in the programme will have access to milk every school day.

Free milk was last seen in primary schools 44 years ago, having been given to school children between 1937-1967 under a world-first government health scheme. The policy was dropped in 1967 on cost grounds and because the public was starting to question the benefits of milk.

To register a school, visit www.fonterramilkforschools.com

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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