North Ayrshire’s gold standard meals
North Ayrshire Council are boosting local business and reducing food miles, receiving the Food for Life Served Here gold award for their work putting local and organic food on school dinner plates.
This is the sixth year running that the council have achieved the award, which supports local authorities to source local and seasonal food for school meals so that children benefit from freshly prepared, sustainable meals.
North Ayrshire Council serves 6,730 Food for Life accredited meals a day across its 49 certified primary schools and one secondary school, Arran High School.
Boosting local business
The council uses a whole network of local suppliers, with children regularly enjoying school meals prepared using ingredients including:
- Quality Meat Scotland farm assured butcher meat from Campbell Brothers;
- Scottish organic milk from Müller Dairies;
- Groceries including organic red lentils, flour, rice and pastas from Greencity Wholefoods in Glasgow.
The council offers a three-week menu cycle with hot and cold meals to suit every taste. Pupils are enjoying healthy and locally sourced school dinners such as Scottish roast beef, home-made fish goujons, and stir fry vegetables with rice.
Scottish potatoes, seasonal vegetables, and fresh seasonal fruit are all served every day.
Craig McCormack from Greencity Wholefoods said: “North Ayrshire Council is setting a fantastic example, highlighting the benefits of a local and organic supply chain which can only benefit future generations.
“The Food for Life programme has been a fantastic vehicle to promote local and organic food and change people’s attitudes toward a more sustainable food system.””
What does the Gold award mean?
The Bronze Food for Life Served Here award recognises and rewards councils that serve food made from fresh ingredients, free from genetically modified ingredients and undesirable additives, using free-range eggs and high-welfare meat.
The Silver and Gold standards work on a flexible points system, which rewards every penny spent on ethical, environmentally friendly and local ingredients, and recognises steps to offer healthier menus.
The Gold award recognises councils that source at least 15% of their total ingredient spend on organic produce, a significant proportion of the ingredients caterers use must be from the UK or produced locally and further steps are taken to make healthy eating easier.
Finally, a big congratulations to North Ayrshire Council for their amazing achievement!
Sarah Duley, Head of Food at Soil Association Scotland, says: “We’re delighted to celebrate the council’s commitment to supporting local producers and providing fresh, healthy and sustainable food for their pupils.”