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Vinamilk to supply Hanoi school milk program

Released at: 08:26, 30/11/2018

Vinamilk to supply Hanoi school milk program

Students at a kindergarten in Bac Ninh province drink Vinamilk in the school milk program. Photo: Thanhnien.vn

Dairy giant to provide milk to kindergartens and primary schools in capital from January 1.

by Le Diem

The country’s largest dairy corporation, Vinamilk, has won the bid to become the supplier of a school milk program to be implemented in Hanoi from January 1, according to the Hanoi Department of Education and Training.

It won the bid with a price of VND6,286 (27 US cents) per 180 ml milk box; lower than its initial bid of VND6,800 (29 US cents).

Each student at kindergartens and primary schools will receive a 180 ml box of milk every day at school, for five boxes a week. Thirty per cent of the price is subsidized by the government and 20 per cent by Vinamilk. Children of poor families will receive milk for free, with the government and Vinamilk subsidizing 50 per cent each. The program is not compulsory but optional, depending on the parents.

The milk is sterilized, with or without sugar, and in a variety available only for the program, not for retail. It contains more minerals, which will be listed on the box, to enhance children’s nutrition.

Nearly 4 million children are studying at kindergartens and primary schools in Hanoi and the city aims to have at least 90 per cent of them participating in the program and all parents receiving information and consultancy on child nutrition, including milk.

In late September, Hanoi announced it was planning to have its own school milk program for kindergarten and primary school children, starting in the 2018-2019 school year. Most parents were supportive of the program while a few had concerns as the supplier was at that time unknown.

The program is a part of “School Milk - For Vietnam’s Stature”, a national program launched by the Ministry of Education and Training and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. The program aims at implementing Decision No. 1340/QD-TTg from the Prime Minister in 2016 approving a “school milk program to improve nutritional standards and contribute to improving the physique of children in kindergartens and elementary schools by 2020.” The program has been implemented in other cities and provinces, such as north-central Nghe An province, central Da Nang city, northern Bac Ninh province, and southern Dong Nai province. Vinamilk is also the supplier of the programs in Bac Ninh, Da Nang and Dong Nai, while TH True Milk, another giant dairy enterprise, provides milk to the program in Nghe An.

The average height of Vietnamese men and women is 163.7 cm and 153 cm; shorter than the World Health Organization (WHO)’s standards by 13.1 cm and 10.7 cm. Vietnam has set a goal of boosting the average height of its population by 4 cm within the next decade. By 2030, the average Vietnamese man will be 168.5 cm tall and the average woman 157.5 cm.

Vietnam’s milk program therefore aims to improve the nutrition and stature of children in kindergartens and primary schools, especially those in poor and remote areas, reduce the prevalence of malnutrition, improve their health and physical strength, and contribute to human resources development in the future. It also consults with and educates parents on the role of nutrition for children.

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