City of Edinburgh Council serves 9 years of Food for Life

City of Edinburgh Council serves 9 years of Food for Life

City of Edinburgh Council’s catering team are celebrating after the council renewed its Food for Life Served Here Bronze award for the 9th year in a row.

The council, which first received the Bronze award in 2015, is now serving 24,500 nutritious, sustainable and locally-sourced Food for Life meals in its 156 schools every day.

Local authorities receive the award following an 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 scheme is run by Soil Association Scotland and funded by Scottish Government.

As the country faces a cost-of-living crisis, catering teams are under increased pressure to balanced costs, whilst school meals have become more important than ever as a nutritional safety net for pupils whose families might be struggling.

At the same time, the need to tackle climate change through serving food that is sustainably produced remains paramount. 

City of Edinburgh Council has demonstrated what can be achieved despite difficult circumstances. Holding the bronze award since 2015, City of Edinburgh Council catering teams ensure that a minimum of 75% of dishes are freshly prepared from unprocessed ingredients. Meals are also free from:

  • undesirable trans fats,
  • sweeteners and
  • additives,

and use free range eggs, higher welfare meat and ingredients from sustainable and ethical sources. 

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.

What’s more, City of Edinburgh Council is supporting local, Scottish produce and ensures support for Scottish suppliers. Food for Life Scotland had an established relationship with Campbells Prime Meat, who already had the contract to supply meat to the City of Edinburgh Council.

The company met with FFLS and QMS to see how it might work with its producers to supply Scottish farm-assured meat to the council through its existing farm-assured meat supply chain.

Campbells Prime Meat has also recognised the benefits. Christopher Campbell said: “We supply farm-assured and Scottish-assured meat to many public sector sites, but schools are at the forefront. In this day and age, food provenance is very important to customers and the Catering Mark [Food for Life Served Here] means people know their food is local and fresh."

Councillor Joan Griffiths, Convener for Education, Children and Families at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “We are delighted to retain our Food for Life Certification.  This demonstrates our commitment to providing the best possible school meals to over 24,500 pupils per day and to celebrate the school food heroes who go above and beyond in the community in which they serve.”

“The drive by the Council to increase locally sourced produce, highlighted by our long-standing local suppliers such as George Anderson & Sons and Campbells Prime meats, enables our suppliers to be more like partners – sharing innovation and best practice to continue or local sourcing objectives.

“The continued cost of living crisis highlights the growing role played by school catering staff across the country, as a growing number of learners rely on our services for the only hot meal they may get that day – the Food for Life Accreditation gives comfort to parents and carers that we take this responsibility seriously.”

Sarah Duley, Head of Food, Food for Life Scotland, said: “Congratulations to City of Edinburgh Council 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 Edinburgh City Council for continuing to put more good food on school plates and for supporting Scotland’s food businesses and Good Food Nation ambitions.”