Argyll and Bute Council’s primary school meals staff have been recognised with a prestigious national award which aims to increase access to fresh and healthy food.
The local authority’s school catering service has been awarded the Soil Association’s Bronze Food for Life Catering Mark. This certification shows that the council’s school meals team are committed to a set of key principles. These include using environmentally sustainable and ethical food; preparing meals using unprocessed ingredients without additives and trans fats; making it easier to eat healthy meals, and supporting local producers.
Catering staff in primary schools across Argyll and Bute have been working with the Soil Association for several months, ensuring that their preparation, ingredients and practices meet the high standards required to achieve bronze award status.
Their hard work paid off when the Soil Association visited Argyll and Bute Council on Thursday 23 January to present the Bronze Food for Life Catering Mark plaque to Provost Len Scoullar, who was delighted to accept it on behalf of the school meals staff.
Argyll and Bute Council Provost, Councillor Len Scoullar, also paid tribute to the teams behind the award. He said: “Our staff have done extremely well to achieve this award, which is a testament to their commitment, the quality of their work, the meals they produce and the pride they take in providing good healthy meals to our primary pupils.
I understand that just one in four schools in Scotland serve meals certified by the Food for Life Catering Mark and I am delighted that Argyll and Bute’s schools are among that number.
What is even more encouraging is that not only will our teams be continuing their good work, they are aiming even higher and are working towards the Silver award. I have every confidence that they will succeed.
Congratulations to all the teams in our schools who can rightly be very proud of their success.”
Soil Association Scotland Director Laura Stewart added: “We are delighted that Argyll and Bute Council have been awarded the Bronze Food for Life Catering Mark for their Primary School meals service. This means that primary school children across the local authority area are being served fresh, healthy, seasonal meals that are better for animal welfare, using produce that is traceable and trustworthy.
I know the catering team has worked hard to achieve the award and I congratulate them for their dedication to serving good food, which is particularly significant given the geographic constraints of Argyll and Bute’s sometimes remote landscape.
We look forward to continuing to work with the team at Argyll and Bute into the future.”
The Bronze Food for Life Catering Mark means that the meals produced do not contain undesirable food additives, hydrogenated fats or GM ingredients.
At least 75 per cent of dishes are freshly prepared from unprocessed ingredients and menus are seasonal.
All meat used comes from farms which satisfy the UK’s minimum welfare standards, eggs are from cage-free hens and no endangered fish are served.
Find out more about the Bronze Food for Life Catering Mark awarded to Argyll and Bute Council’s school meals staff, and the work of the Soil Association, at www.soilassociation.org