Schools sign up for free milk

18:41, Feb 24 2013

Nineteen schools around Marlborough have opted in to a programme providing primary school-aged children with a free serving of milk each day.

Marlborough school children from years 1 to 6 could be getting 180ml packs of low-fat UHT, or long-life, milk by July as part of Fonterra's nationwide Milk for Schools programme.

Fonterra announced the Milk for Schools programme last year, after a successful pilot in Northland. All 2000 primary schools nationwide were then emailed for expressions of interest.

A Fonterra spokeswoman said yesterday the date the programme would begin in Marlborough schools had yet to be confirmed. However, all South Island schools signed up would have the packs of milk for distributing by the end of the second school term in July, she said.

"It's a huge logistical undertaking to get all the regions on board."

From term one next year, all 350,000 primary school children throughout the country would be offered a free serving of milk each school day.


Schools in the programme get a purpose-built Fisher & Paykel fridge, one of three different sizes based on the number of pupils enrolled, and help with recycling the packs.

Chief executive Theo Spierings said last month that Fonterra would invest between $10 million and $15m million a year into Milk for Schools, based on the "take-up rate" of schools.

As future consumers of the product, the long-term strategic investment in New Zealand children was worth it, he said.


The Marlborough Express