A first for University of Edinburgh's student catering

22 January 2013

The University of Edinburgh has become the first Scottish University to achieve the prestigious bronze Food for Life Catering Mark.

The University of Edinburgh has achieved the award for the 24,000 meals they provide per week at the John McIntrye Conference Centre to the 2,000 students in Pollock Halls of Residence.

The Soil Association’s Food for Life Catering Mark is a UK-wide certification scheme which provides an independent guarantee that food being served is fresh, free from controversial additives and better for animal welfare. The bronze, silver and gold tiers encourage caterers to make step-by-step progress towards using more local, free range, fair trade and organic ingredients to produce healthier menus.

More than 3.5 million Food for Life meals are served in Scotland every year. Edinburgh University is the first higher education institution to achieve the accolade and joins Stirling Council, Highland Council and East Ayrshire Council in providing Food for Life accredited meals.

The achievement is part of an innovative, city-wide Edinburgh Food for Life Partnership. The University of Edinburgh has joined forces with City of Edinburgh Council and NHS Lothian to transform food culture across the capital. The project, which is supported by Soil Association Scotland’s Food for Life programme, aims to roll out the Catering Mark at a number of key locations, encouraging people across Edinburgh to benefit from healthy and sustainable food.

Commenting on the achievement of the Catering Mark, Ian Macaulay, Assistant Director (Catering) at The University of Edinburgh said:

“The University of Edinburgh has a history of achieving awards and playing a pioneering role in sustainable issues. With budgets to manage and our student’s needs at the centre of the food we provide, the catering team has overcome a number of challenges to meet the high standards required by the Catering Mark. Now students can be sure that food isn’t just freshly prepared using quality ingredients, but is also supporting the local economy and higher standards of animal welfare.”

Explaining the importance of the Catering Mark, Laura Stewart, Director Soil Association Scotland said:

"The bronze Catering Mark is an excellent achievement which recognises the vital role that fresh, seasonal meals play in healthy, planet-friendly menus, especially for large-scale catering. Students can be vocal champions for environmental issues, so we're delighted that the University of Edinburgh is engaged in sustainable food issues and is committed to providing a high standard of fresh, tasty food.”

Want to know more?

Find out more about the Edinburgh Food for Life Partnership and the Food for Life Catering Mark in universities across the UK.

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