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Shetland Islands school meals achieve Food for Life Served Here award

Shetland school meals are award-winning

Congratulations to Shetland Islands Council for achieving the Food for Life Served Here Bronze award across their school meals service!

Thirty-one education settings across Shetland, including:

  • early years,
  • primary and
  • secondary schools,

are now serving almost 2,000 freshly-prepared hot meals every day.

The ‘Food for Life Served Here’ award recognises local authorities that serve freshly prepared, healthy meals, made using locally produced and sustainable ingredients.

The Food for Life Scotland programme is run by Soil Association Scotland and funded by the Scottish Government.

The programme aims to support school catering staff to serve freshly prepared meals made from locally produced ingredients that are healthy and sustainable.

To obtain a Bronze award, 13 key standards must be met.

One of these is that 75% of dishes on the menu must be classed as freshly prepared from unprocessed ingredients. The Council’s catering team excel at this, with the menu in local schools calculated to be 96% freshly prepared - one of the highest levels in Scotland.

Shetland Islands Council works closely with local suppliers to source local produce for its school meals. Meat is provided by two Shetland-based companies, Hughson Brothers and JW Gray; fresh fish is supplied by Blydoit Fish Ltd, and milk is supplied by Shetland Farm Dairies. Island bakeries provide bread for schools and vegetables are sourced from local suppliers wherever possible.

The Council is the 17th local authority in Scotland to achieve a ‘Food for Life Served Here’ award and one of only a few to hold the award across all their education settings.

Shetland Council Food For Life Award

Catering staff at Scalloway School (l to r): Cathy Mann, Susan McKay, Aja Jarboe, Leanne Smith and Lisa Jamieson Credit: SIC

Councillor George Smith, Chair of the Council’s Education and Families Committee, said: “This is well-deserved recognition for the work done by our school catering staff who provide healthy and nutritious meals in our schools and early years settings across the isles. We place great value on providing high-quality school meals, and there are many benefits to providing locally sourced produce too.

“I’m really pleased that Shetland schools have achieved this national accreditation and we’ll continue to strive to provide the best school meals we can for our young people.”

Sarah Duley, Head of Food at Soil Association Scotland, said: “Food for Life Scotland is delighted to recognise Shetland Islands Council’s ongoing commitment to serving fresh, local produce in their school meals. The pandemic has further highlighted the importance of school meals and it is heartening to see the Council continue to take these steps to benefit local pupils, staff, and suppliers even while grappling with unprecedented challenges."