Victorian milk will be served up to thousands of Victorian school students from next year, under a new deal to boost the state’s struggling dairy industry and help support regional jobs.
Minister for Education James Merlino today visited Pactum Dairy Group in Shepparton to announce it will exclusively supply milk to the Andrews Labor Government’s School Breakfast Clubs program from 2017.
School Breakfast Clubs provide a free breakfast to up to 25,000 children in 500 Victorian government primary schools most in need, setting children up to concentrate and learn so they can reach their full potential.
The new deal will see dairy farmers in the Murray Goulburn region supply around 400,000 litres of milk a year to the program, benefiting the 130 farms in the district who supply Pactum Dairy.
Mr Merlino also announced that from next year School Breakfast Clubs will also include 80 tonnes of Australian grown baked beans from SPC Ardmona in Shepparton each year, helping support local jobs and industry.
The SPC Ardmona factory employs 500 people and supports up to 2,700 grower and supplier jobs.
The Labor Government has partnered with Foodbank – the largest welfare food agency in Australia – to establish and lead the statewide School Breakfast Clubs program, using their existing warehousing, storage and freight network.
The $13.7 million program is another example of the Labor Government building the Education State to ensure every child, regardless of their postcode, has access to a first-rate education.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino
“This new partnership will help Victorian dairy farmers and local industry, with up to 400,000 litres of milk and 80 tonnes of baked beans to be delivered to Victorian primary schools each year.”
“One in seven Victorian children arrive at school on an empty stomach, affecting their ability to concentrate and learn.”
“We’re tackling disadvantage through School Breakfast Clubs by making sure every student has the opportunity to reach their potential – and by using Victorian dairy and food suppliers we can also help boost jobs and industry.”
Quotes attributable to Foodbank Victoria Chief Executive Officer Dave McNamara
“We are thrilled to be continuing the support of local Victorian-based farmers and food producers who are helping us build this incredible program.”
“From 2017, not only will School Breakfast Clubs Program milk be sourced from Shepparton but the program’s baked beans will also be manufactured by SPC Ardmona, enabling us to deliver more Victorian and Australian produce into schools than ever before.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020