Fresh, healthy, sustainable school meals in the Scottish Borders

🏆 FFLSH since 2020   🏫 4,700 meals daily in 59 primary schools


Scottish Borders Council achieved the Bronze Food for Life Served Here award for their primary school meals service in 2020. 

The Food for Life Served Here award is an independent guarantee of quality, that recognises councils who are serving school meals which are made from fresh ingredients, using free-range eggs and high-welfare meat, and free from genetically modified ingredients and undesirable additives.

Scottish Borders Council is now serving up 5,500 Food for Life certified meals every day across its 62 certified primary schools, meaning pupils are benefitting from food that is freshly prepared, locally sourced, and sustainable.

Councillor Carol Hamilton, Executive Member for Children and Young People, said: “We are committed to providing quality, healthy and sustainable meals for our schoolchildren, which involves sourcing local products from Scottish food producers such as local farmers wherever possible.

“This award is testament to catering staff across the Borders who work hard to provide thousands of freshly prepared meals every day in our schools.”

Celebrating award-winning school meals

Mairi Gougeon MSP, Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment, joined pupils at St Ronan’s Primary School in Innerleithen to present the Food for Life Served Here award to the Head Cook, Michelle Povey, on behalf of the whole of Scottish Borders Council.

Ms Gougeon said “I am delighted that Scottish Borders Council has achieved Food for Life Served Here status within its primary schools, the 14th local authority in Scotland to do so.

“The Food for Life programme has made a big difference to the lives of young people across the country by guaranteeing that school children can access delicious, healthy and sustainable food that’s been grown, sourced and produced in Scotland.

“It also benefits local food producers in the Borders and across Scotland by protecting jobs and supporting local farmers, something that has a positive impact on the wider local economy."

A boost for local suppliers

The Food for Life Scotland programme supports local authority school catering staff to serve freshly prepared meals made from locally produced ingredients that are healthy and sustainable. As part of their Food for Life certified meals, pupils in Scottish Borders primary schools enjoy seasonal fruit and vegetables including carrots, broccoli and potatoes from Glasgow-based supplier George Carruthers & Sons Ltd.


Present at the award presentation was Colin Dyer of Campbell Brothers, who supply the Council with fresh, farm-assured meat for school meals. Colin said: “‘Campbell Brothers have been working with Scottish meat producers and Scottish caterers for over 100 years.

"We are pleased that our products assist Scottish Borders Council and other local authorities to meet the Soil Association’s standards, and demonstrate our commitment to providing the best of fully traceable & nutritious meat.”

“George Carruthers & Sons Ltd are delighted to supply local authorities with fresh fruit and vegetables. It is a delight to be working with the Food for Life Scotland Programme, assisting Scottish Borders Council in achieving their Bronze award."

Alex Fairfull, Head Buyer at George Carruthers & Sons

👩‍🍳 95% said they would recommend the training to a colleague

👨‍🍳 93% agreed that they understood the FFLSH Bronze award after the training

🏅 88% agreed that the award was meaningful to them after the training

Upskilling caterers with Food for Life training

As part of their preparation for achieving the Food for Life Served Here award, catering staff from Scottish Borders Council attended training with the Food for Life Scotland team.

After an introduction to the principles of ‘good food’ – food that’s good for health, good for the environment, and good for the local economy – attendees at the session took part in a range of interactive exercises introducing the 13 standards of the Food for Life Served Here Bronze award.

A selection of fresh fruit and vegetables for the training was kindly provided by Glasgow-based George Carruthers & Sons Ltd. Staff worked together to identify freshly-prepared products, spot non-permitted additives in ingredients lists, and suggest seasonal swaps for popular recipes including crumbles and soups.

Food for Life Scotland Ambassadors

Elspeth Lean, Food and Nutrition Co-ordinator and Janette Lothian, Catering Coordinator, Scottish Borders Council have been awarded as Food for Life Scotland Ambassadors for the Borders. They are working with Stow Primary School in Galashiels on their grow garden and hope to develop links with local businesses and farmers so that pupils can witness first-hand the journey from field to fork. Pupils will develop an understanding of seasonal produce and what can be grown in Scotland, plus how great fresh produce tastes.