School milk is to remain on the menu for Scottish schoolchildren following NFU Scotland raising concerns about future support for this important scheme with the Scottish government.
Leaving the EU means local authorities in Scotland can no longer receive funding under the EU school milk scheme to subsidise their own local schemes for pupils, placing the scheme’s future in Scotland in jeopardy.
NFU Scotland is delighted that the Scottish government has stepped up to the plate and agreed to plug any funding gap should the UK government fail to provide the necessary funds.
To provide certainty to parents, schools and local authorities, the Scottish government will commit funding of £722,000 this school year so this valuable scheme can continue.
Vice President Charlie Adam, who sits on the Union’s Milk Committee said:
"Milk and dairy are a central plank in the health of Scotland’s schoolchildren.
"NFU Scotland wrote to the Deputy First Minister, John Swinney MSP, in his role as Cabinet Secretary of Education and Skills voicing the concerns of our members in August when we first heard that the valued EU funded school milk project was to cease.
"We are delighted that the Scottish government has responded quickly to ensure the scheme continues.
For some time the Scottish government has provided positive reassurances that it values the clear contribution milk and dairy products make to our children’s health and that it was working hard behind the scenes to mitigate the effects of the loss of the EU school milk scheme.
"Going forward, NFU Scotland hope to work with Scottish Government to look at the school milk scheme post-2021 and how that will be best delivered to the nation’s schools," he concluded.