A resurging Chinese economy is helping boost returns for New Zealand dairy farmers.
The invitation marks the next step in the rollout of Fonterra Milk for Schools which begins in the south of the South Island before working its way up the country.
Fonterra group general manager global cooperative social responsibility, Carly Robinson, says the team is excited about initiating the national rollout.
"All schools need to do now is sign up and we'll start working with their teams to deliver dairy nutrition to their students," she says.
At the end of last year, schools were asked to indicate their interest in the programme to help Fonterra determine potential uptake. The Southland and Otago schools which responded are now being sent application packs to give them more information so they can make a decision on whether to join.
"We've worked hard to make sure the programme is as easy as possible for schools and that administration is minimal," says Robinson.
"Once schools have signed up we will arrange a visit to help them get set up and ready to start drinking milk. We learnt a lot during our Northland pilot, so we hope we have some useful tips to support new schools in getting off to a successful start."
Any eligible schools that have not expressed their interest in the programme yet can do so at any time via the Fonterra Milk for Schools website. As the programme rolls out nationally schools that have expressed interest in the programme will be contacted when applications open in their area, with Canterbury following Southland and Otago.
It is expected to take a full year to get to all regions of the country.