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Farmers positive about milk into schools trial

16 December 2011

Farmers positive about milk into schools trial

The plan to trial milk in Northland’s schools during the first term of 2012 comes from the farms of 10,500 farmer-shareholders who make up Fonterra Cooperative Group.

“Farmer-shareholders received briefings last night and today and the milk in schools trial got a sympathetic hearing,” says Willy Leferink, Federated Farmers Dairy chairperson.

“The commitment to this trial isn’t the actions of a faceless corporate, but comes from the hearts of Fonterra’s 10,500 farmer-shareholders. Most farmer-shareholders are parents themselves so know the fantastic health benefits dairy provides. Above all, we’re all Kiwis.

“If New Zealand is to become the global leader in dairy nutrition then I guess “it starts here”. Those words happen to hang outside the gate of each of Fonterra supplier-shareholder.

“As with everything in life it’s not where you start out, but rather, where the journey takes you. On TVNZ Breakfast this morning, I heard one interviewee estimate it would cost many tens of millions to roll this out to every primary school.

“We must remember Fonterra is a farmer owned cooperative and not a government agency. If Government thinks this is a good idea, as we do, then it needs to share the costs with Fonterra and any other dairy company which may join the scheme.

“In the meantime, Federated Farmers will be making strong representations to Fonterra that its trial packaging must clearly state this milk comes from Kiwi dairy farmers.

“We’d also urge Fonterra to look closely at the inspired ‘Got Milk?’ campaign that has been running in the United States for sometime.

“While occasionally irreverent it is hugely relevant because ‘Got Milk?’ has taken on the soft drink industry at its own marketing game,” Mr Leferink concluded.

© Scoop Media

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