East Renfrewshire achieves the bronze award
East Renfrewshire catering team are celebrating after the council renewed its Food for Life Served Here Bronze Award for the ninth year. The council, which first received the award in 2014, is now serving over 5,600 nutritious, sustainable and locally-sourced Food for Life meals per day in its 24 primary schools.
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.
East Renfrewshire Council works closely with produce supplier Failte to ensure that they are serving UK produce that’s in season. This includes broccoli, mushrooms, carrot, cabbage, cauliflower, onion, courgette, potatoes, turnip and for fruits pears, blueberries, strawberries and plums.
All school kitchens have the Food for Life seasonality calendar pinned up and catering staff attended Food for Life training sessions on seasonality in 2022, learning how to incorporate seasonal produce onto school menus.
Many schools in the council have gardens and growing projects. For example, Giffnock Nursery have been growing vegetables making soups from them.
Councillor Andrew Anderson, Convener for Education, Equalities, Culture and Leisure, said: “Healthy, tasty and nutritious meals are so important for fuelling our children and young people’s minds to ensure they are ready to learn. We are committed to providing high quality meals to all our pupils and this accreditation is one measure of the excellent service available in East Renfrewshire.”
Sarah Duley, Head of Food, Food for Life Scotland, said: “Congratulations to East Renfrewshire 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 daily hot, nutritious meal that’s healthy, freshly prepared and sustainably produced. We are delighted to recognise East Renfrewshire for continuing to put more good food on school plates and for supporting Scotland’s food businesses and Good Food Nation ambitions.”