All 350,000 primary school children throughout New Zealand will be offered a free serving of milk every school day from next year, as part of the nationwide Fonterra Milk for Schools program, the dairy co-operative announced this week.
Fonterra Chief Executive Theo Spierings said that after a trial run in Northland, Fonterra had decided to roll out the program to all 2,000 primary schools throughout the country, beginning next year.
“We are totally committed to Fonterra Milk for Schools because we believe it will make a lasting difference to the health of New Zealand’s children. We want Kiwis to grow up drinking milk because it’s good for them and we are proud that this program will give every primary school kid the chance to enjoy this nutritious product,” he said.
“New Zealand is the largest exporter of dairy products in the world, but at home, we’re not drinking as much milk as we used to. We want to be the dairy nutrition capital of the world and this starts with our kids.”
Research conducted by the University of Auckland has shown that children’s milk consumption in the Northland community, both at school and at home, has significantly increased since the pilot began.
Spierings said the cost of the program would depend on the number of schools participating – and this would not be known until the end of next year.
“While we don’t know the exact number, we believe this is the largest single community investment by a New Zealand company and we are very proud to be making this investment in the health of our future generations.”