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Express links up with Planet Cook

Press Release   •   Oct 27, 2005 09:00 BST

Express is light years ahead after linking up with children's healthy food programme, Planet Cook.

The BBC's unique cooking and adventure show is hugely popular and the deal will see Planet Cook activities and competitions being featured on Express school milk cartons.

Kevin Mayes, sales support manager for Express said: "This is a real coup for the company, given the increasing emphasis being placed on healthy eating, especially as Planet Cook was specifically created to raise awareness of this issue among children. The Planet Cook branded cartons are designed to appeal to children up to the age of eleven at Key Stage 1 and 2 levels.

"Each recipe that features on the show is approved by the Food Standards Authority and analysed by independent, qualified nutritionists to fit within the context of a balanced, healthy diet and milk is a natural addition to this. Which is why the tie in with Express fits perfectly," added Kevin.

Over 80 million cartons a year of whole milk, and fluoride added whole milk, will boast the new Planet Cook branding and continue Express's association with Platinum Films, producers of Planet Cook, who also produce Dream Street, the road safety themed programme previously featured on the cartons. A new Express branded semi-skimmed milk carton has been produced to appeal to older children attending secondary schools.

Planet Cook is hosted by celebrity chef, Kevin Woodford of Ready Steady Cook fame, who plays the part of Captain Cook and also features Dave Benson-Philips as magical yeti Bouma. TV personality, Ruby Wax gets in on the action as the voice of super computer, Roxy.

The launch of the new carton also coincided with School Milk Week, which began on October 10 and encouraged schools to offer children a daily carton of fresh milk.

And education secretary, Ruth Kelly's pledge for healthy school catering and a ban on fizzy drinks, couldn't have been more timely as School Milk Week organisers Dairy UK and the Milk Development Council urge more schools to access European Union subsidies for school milk.

Similarly, Jamie Oliver's high profile Feed Me Better campaign, which brought the spotlight on the National Healthy School Standard (NHSS), has also added weight to the School Milk project because providing a school milk scheme counts towards the school meeting the food and drink section of the standard.

"Arla is a strong supporter of the campaign and Express doorstep operations already delivers to thousands of schools in the UK. Our strategy is to increase the numbers of schools we deliver to in our serving areas and persuade pupils to continue drinking milk throughout their school life and beyond. The awareness raised by School Milk Week is integral to this," said Kevin.

And its not only Arla who are helping promote the importance of milk to schools, an Arla Foods Milk Partnership (AFMP) member recently hosted a visit of 30 pupils to her farm near Sheffield.

"The children were from a local primary school and asked to visit the farm as part of the topic they are doing on food which forms part of their curriculum," said an AFMP member.

"It was a lovely day, it went really well and the children were really well behaved. Very few of the children had visited the farm before and they asked lots of sensible questions."

Arla Foods UK plc is home to some of the UK’s leading dairy brands including Cravendale, Lurpak and Anchor. Processing approximately two billion litres of milk a year Arla continues to be one of the UK’s leading dairy companies and a supplier of fresh liquid milk and cream to the top seven retailers.

Over 2,500 daily deliveries are made directly to stores nationwide and Arla brands can be found across the dairy category. As well as the leader of the butter, spreads and margarine sector, and a major supplier of other added value products including flavoured milk and cheese, Arla continues to build working relationships with Arla Foods Milk Partnership, a unique group of dairy farmers, which supplies around 90 per cent of Arla's total milk requirements.

Behind this leading business is a team of circa 2,800 people across the UK located at our dairies, distribution centres and head office.