🏆 FFLSH since 2022 🏫 Around 3,500 meals daily in 45 primary schools
Moray Council’s catering team worked towards their award throughout 2021.
The team saw the Food for Life Served Here award as an excellent opportunity to promote to families and the local community that high-quality, freshly prepared meals are being served in Moray’s primary schools.
Working with the Food for Life team has provided the Council with a clear process through which to demonstrate how they are collaborating with local suppliers and supporting the local economy.
The catering team say they found the route to the bronze award quite straightforward. They were already cooking meals from scratch and so only had to make a few adjustments to their menus and the ingredients being used to meet the Food for Life Served Here bronze standards.
In accordance with the standards, over 75% of the meals they serve are freshly prepared from unprocessed ingredients. The team has a passion for cooking and is dedicated to creating tasty, nutritious meals that appeal to the children. They even make their own spring rolls, falafel and sausage rolls and bread their own chicken goujons!
The team gets its produce from a range of local suppliers:
-Milk from Graham’s Dairy in Nairn
-Free range eggs from Allarburn in Elgin
-Seasonal vegetables from Swanson’s Fruit & Veg in Elgin
-Meat from Fraser Brothers Butchers in Forres
The Council recently made tendering for its school bakery contract more accessible for local businesses to engage with. This resulted in a bakery, Strathisla, in Keith, achieving a contract to supply several schools in the Keith and Fochabers area.
Moray Council estimates that around £58,000 is spent per year with local suppliers for their primary school meal provision. This is a key way in which the Council supports local growers and food producers, and they encourage local businesses to look out for opportunities to partner with them via Public Contracts Scotland.
Catering Manager, Elaine McRae said: “We have a great working relationship with our local suppliers who have been involved the whole way through as we’ve applied for the Food for Life Served Here award. We couldn’t have done it without them!”
Food provenance is another Food for Life standard that Moray Council is particularly passionate about, advocating that all pupils should understand where the food in their school meal comes from. Back in 2016, Moray Council produced a video highlighting some of their producers and helping pupils learn more about the food on their school plate. The team still work to this ethos today. Primary school menus detail where produce is supplied from, so families and pupils can learn more about food provenance and seasonality.
Elaine said: “We’re delighted to have received the Food for Life Served Here bronze award. It is great for the catering staff to get recognition for all the work they put into providing nutritious, freshly made meals.
“School meals in Moray remain a popular choice for families and we can see that our hard work is having a positive impact on the community. We’ll continue to ensure our primary pupils receive high-quality food – and keep their favourite dishes on the menu!”
Debbie Ritchie, Assistant Catering Officer at Moray Council has been awarded as the Food for Life Scotland Ambassador for Moray. As part of her ambassador action plan she is connecting schools with local farmers and veg providers so that they can run sessions with students about which vegetables are in season, the different varieties that are available and how it is grown locally. The first visit is being organised for students from Logie Primary School. Pupils will also get the chance to grow their own vegetables and Debbie hopes they will learn more about where their food comes from and the importance of the local food system.