Bronze award for Shetland Islands
It has been announced today that the catering team at Shetland Islands Council has received the Food for Life Served Here bronze award for their school meals service across all of their nursery, primary and secondary schools for the second time. This award is a nationally recognised mark of quality that celebrates the team's efforts to serve, healthy, sustainable and locally sourced school meals. The council serves 2,500 meals daily in 3 nurseries, 21 primaries, 5 junior highs and 2 secondaries.
Shetland Islands Council originally achieved the award for 31 nursery and primary and secondary schools in May 2021, becoming the first local authority in Scotland to hold the award for all their schools. The award has now been renewed across all of their education settings.
The scheme is run by Soil Association Scotland and funded by Scottish Government. Local authorities receive the award following an annual independent assessment and inspection to ensure the food being served in schools across the local authority is good for pupils’ health, good for the environment and good for the local economy.
The bronze award recognises that a minimum of 75% of dishes are freshly prepared from unprocessed ingredients. Meals are also free from undesirable trans fats, sweeteners, additives and all genetically modified ingredients. Catering teams use free range eggs, higher welfare meat and ingredients from sustainable and ethical sources.
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.
Sarah Duley, Head of Food, Soil Association Scotland, said “We are delighted that Shetland Islands Council has achieved the Food for Life Served Here bronze award for the second year in a row. They have now added all of their nursery, primary and secondary schools to the award and were first local authority in Scotland to do this. We hope that all that they have achieved can be an inspiration to other local authorities across Scotland as we continue to work together to build a Good Food Nation.”
Councillor David Sandison, Chair of the Shetland Islands Council’s Education and Families Committee, said “Our catering staff have worked really hard to achieve this and I am proud of their dedication to ensuring pupils have access to healthy, locally sourced food. I am delighted that all of our schools and early learning centres have yet again met the criteria required to gain this prestigious award. Our catering team is fully committed to providing Shetland’s children and young people with nutritious, sustainably sourced meals and they should be very proud of themselves. This is not only benefitting the children - it is supporting our local food producers along the way.”