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Scottish Borders renew Food for Life Served Here Bronze Award

Scottish Borders renew Food for Life Served Here Bronze Award

Scottish Borders Council’s Catering service is celebrating after their ‘Food for Life Served Here’ Bronze award was renewed for the third year.  

The team, which first received the award in 2020, is currently serving an average of 7,000 nutritious, sustainable and locally-sourced Food for Life meals in its 58 primary schools every day.  

The hard work and dedication of all involved has once again been recognised by the widely respected and independently assessed scheme led by Soil Association Scotland and funded by Scottish Government.  

The Food for Life Scotland programme provides a framework through which local authorities can ensure they are serving food that’s good for health, the environment, and the economy. This is done by following a set of standards to achieve the Food for Life Served Here award at Bronze, Silver or Gold level.  

The Bronze award recognises that a minimum of 75 percent 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 also use free range eggs, higher welfare meat and ingredients from sustainable and ethical sources. 

To highlight food provenance, schools across the Borders participated in a Scottish Farmhouse Picnic Competition, an exciting new initiative run jointly by the Royal Highland Education Trust, Scottish Borders Countryside Initiative and the Council’s Catering team. Pupils were asked to create their own picnic incorporating as much local produce as they could. The aim was to help them to learn about what is available in their area and what can be created from it. For example, using wheat grown locally to make bread, and using meat from the local butchers as fillings. Finalists were given a free farm visit as well as enjoying a farmhouse picnic in their school.  

Several schools have also set up their own polytunnels to grow vegetables which can then be served in school kitchens.  

Councillor Mark Rowley, SBC’s Executive Member for Service Delivery and Transformation, said: “A huge well done to all our Catering Service staff on their hard work and commitment which has resulted in the renewal of their Bronze award. This is great news, both for the children and young people who benefit from being able to enjoy such high-quality school meals and for the local suppliers that we support. With quality food production such an important part of what the Borders does well, it is important we continue to try and use as much local produce as we can and this is great, independent, recognition of that effort.” 

Sarah Duley, Head of Food, Food for Life Scotland, said: “Congratulations to Scottish Borders for renewing their ‘Food for Life Served Here’ Bronze Award for another year. This is a huge achievement and shows that staff are dedicated to providing pupils with a hot, nutritious meal that’s healthy, freshly prepared and sustainably produced. We are delighted to recognise Scottish Borders Council for continuing to put more good food on school plates and for supporting Scotland’s food businesses and Good Food Nation ambitions.”