A EUR50m (US$79.4m) subsidy scheme helping EU member states supply free milk to schools has been extended to other dairy products.

The European Commission, which funds the scheme, says in future it can finance purchases of cheeses, yoghurt, buttermilk and other dairy lines, as well as milk.

Last year the scheme paid for 305,000 tonnes of milk, distributed in schools in 22 member states.

While expanding the product range, the Commission also extended the scheme to secondary schools.

EU agriculture commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel said: "With… more attractive products available, we expect more schools…will participate."

If they do, Brussels will increase the scheme's budget.