I have taken part in a visit to the Treehouse Day Nursery to mark World School Milk Day 2017 and show my support for the availability of milk in education and childcare settings.
World School Milk Day is celebrated across the world to highlight the health and educational benefits of milk in schools and encourage more children to drink milk. Schools and nurseries across the country have been taking part in a variety of activities to mark the day, ranging from MP visits to themed activities within the classroom.
I visited the school to show support for milk as a healthy alternative to sugary drinks. He acted as the “milk monitor”, pouring the milk and sharing it out with the children.
In the UK, children under five in childcare or primary school can get a free portion of milk every day through the Nursery Milk Scheme. Children aged five to 11 can get currently get subsidised milk through the EU School Fruit, Vegetables and Milk scheme – although it is not clear at the moment if this will be able to continue once the UK leaves the EU. Unlike the some of the school milk of the past, children today are able to enjoy fresh and tasty chilled milk, helping set them up with healthy habits for life.
Both the Nursery Milk scheme and the milk subsidies primary schools receive from the EU play an important role in supporting the provision of milk, and in doing so help in the fight against obesity and tooth decay. I call on the UK Government to further strengthen the Nursery Milk Scheme and ensure that primary school milk continues to be subsidised post-Brexit.
Not only does the subsidised milk provide the children with a number of health benefits, but it also helps our Flintshire dairy farmers. The milk they produce is some of the best in the world, benefiting from herds which experience the best animal welfare standards in the world, and the scheme does much to help an industry which is facing a number of difficulties.