Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a our answers to a few common questions our team gets asked, but if there's anything else you'd like to know, please get in touch. We're happy to help!

Nothing is more important than the health of our kids. We believe Fonterra Milk for Schools can make a lasting difference to kids’ health and help our tamariki grow strong. We’re very proud to be able to
help build and develop healthy habits that can last a lifetime!

The programme is available to year 1-6 students identified by the Directory of Educational Institutions. This includes Contributing, Full Primary, Composite and Special Schools, and students at these schools can choose to drink a maximum of one 200ml pack of milk on every school day. There is an exception in place for full primary schools extending the programme to their year 7 & 8 students, which limits their drinking days to 4 days per week. 

Milk is an important building block for good nutrition for all children. We want our tamariki to have access to dairy nutrition every school day to encourage them to create healthy, lifelong habits. 

Fonterra Milk for Schools is a massive logistical undertaking, and there were many practical parts to the programme that we wanted to test and get right before rolling out nationwide. We used the pilot to determine the best way to get the milk to schools, keep it chilled and recycle the packaging. Northland was an easily-defined area with a manageable number of schools, so it was a great place to start.

The nationwide roll-out took one year; a massive undertaking! We rolled out region by region – starting at the bottom of the South Island towards the end of Term 1 2013, and moving up the country over the following terms. The roll-out was completed at the end of Term 1 2014.

Fonterra Milk for Schools is a voluntary programme for both schools and students. We provide schools and parents with information to decide whether they would like students to participate. While we don’t supply lactose free milk, or milk alternatives, as part of the Fonterra Milk for Schools programme, we are more than happy for the school or parents/caregivers to supply a suitable alternative, and for this to be stored in the Fonterra Milk for Schools fridge and served along with the Fonterra Milk for Schools milk. This way, children with allergies or intolerances are still able to enjoy milk moments with their friends and classmates!

The NZ Dietary Guidelines from the Ministry of Health advise that from the age of two years, low-fat dairy products are best for children.


No, all of the white/plain milk from Anchor™ contains no added sugar. Milk does contain lactose, a naturally occurring sugar found in milk. The amount of lactose present can change slightly along with some of dairy nutrients including protein and calcium when some of the fat is removed. Our Fonterra Milk for Schools milk doesn’t need any sugar added to it to make it taste great!

No, we never add water to Anchor™ milk. The only difference is the proportion of cream we skim off. This might change the consistency and fat content but Anchor™ Lite and Trim milks still contain the same essential nutrients as Blue milk, just in slightly different proportions. The main difference, other than fat content, is the amount of vitamin A. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin so will be present in slightly lower quantities in low fat milks.  

No. Cow’s milk is not only high in calcium, it also contains other nutrients that are essential for good health including high quality dairy protein (containing all 20 amino acids), phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, vitamin A (in full fat products), and B vitamins including B2 (riboflavin).

We’ve tested the logistics, food quality and safety – and UHT works best given the scale of the programme. UHT (ultra-high temperature) processing means the milk gets heated to a high temperature for an extremely short period, so it can stay high quality for longer.
Using UHT also gives schools more flexibility when it comes to delivery times and storage.We supply fridges to all schools to chill the milk before handing it out, to ensure it can be enjoyed at its best!

Fonterra Milk for Schools milk contains the same levels of protein, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and other minerals and fat soluble vitamins as fresh milk. Every pack contains at least 1/4 of the daily calcium requirements for children.

Milk can be enjoyed anytime! It’s great on your cereal to start the day, or add some fruit and make a tasty smoothie. On a chilly day, a nice warm drink before bedtime might be just what you need.
Dentists also recommend drinking milk after meals to help neutralise dietary acids that can erode teeth! Milk really is an all-day powerhouse! (source: NZ Dental Association)

One of the key learnings of the pilot was that the 250ml pack size was too big for some of the younger kids. We worked with the schools in the pilot to select the new size pack and created a special 200ml milk pack just for our schools. 

Our schools are asked to Drink it dry, fold it flat and send it back! Students fold the milk packs down in a special origami- like way so our Anchor Milk teams can collect lots of milk packs each time they visit the school. These are placed in clearly marked recycling bins ready for the Anchor Milkman to pick up. 

Every part of a Fonterra Milk for Schools milk pack is recycled. After the empty, folded milk packs are collected from schools, they are taken to one of our recycling centres to be baled. Everything is then sent to South East Asia to complete the recycling process, turning the milk packs into items like roof tiles and school books.

There are currently no facilities in New Zealand that have the ability to recycle this type of packaging, making the facilities in South East Asia the closest and most eco-efficient. The schools and communities also benefit from these recycled products which we think is pretty great. To see how the empty milk packs get recycled and turned into things like roof tiles, books and paper please watch the Tetra Pak Recycling watch the Tetra Pak Recycling video.

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