The Government of Barbados has thrown 100 per cent support behind the Pine Hill Diary (PHD) and dairy farmers on the island.

Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick, gave this assurance following a tour of the ISO certified Pine Hill Dairy plant yesterday morning.

Stating that government will do everything in its power to ensure the survival of the dairy industry in Barbados, Dr. Estwick said that with the recent fall in the consumption of fresh milk, agriculture officials have been engaged in discussions with the Ministry of Social Care.

He added that the two ministries have come up with a strategy to encourage the consumption of fresh milk on the island by working with the welfare department to provide vouchers for fresh milk at different retail outlets across the island. Vouchers will also be given to the operators of a number of breakfast feeding programmes.

Dr. Estwick has also appealed to Barbadians to consider supporting their own products. ???I want to make a general plea to Barbadians that it is important that you make a choice, you can either decide to support the business of your country, or you can decide to support the business of another country. In the end [by supporting your country] you are supporting local jobs, you are supporting local economic activity???.

Minister Estwick is also urging Barbadians to drink more fresh milk. He believes that milk consumption is important from a health and nutrition perspective.

???It is better to give your child a glass of milk than a glass of lemonade???it is better to send that child to school with a carton of milk than with a sweet drink,??? he added.

Managing Director and CEO of Banks Holdings Limited, Richard Cozier, expressed gratitude to government for its support. He believes that the programmes involving the Welfare Department and the Ministry of Education???s renewed commitment to utilising fresh milk in their school meals programme is a step in the right direction.

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