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Argyll and Bute achieve Food for Life Served Here Bronze Award

Argyll and Bute achieve Food for Life Served Here Bronze Award

Argyll and Bute Council catering teams are celebrating after the council renewed its Food for Life Served Here Bronze award. The council, which first received the award in 2013, is now serving 4,500 nutritious, sustainable and locally sourced Food for Life meals daily in its 67 primary schools and 58 early years settings.

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.

Argyll and Bute Council has developed a network of local suppliers. For example, fresh fruit and vegetables are supplied by JM Breckenridge, a family run business based in Oban, and a selection of baked goods come from Blacks of Dunoon Bakers, a family run bakery in Dunoon.

Food for Life Served Here inspectors felt that Kirn Primary School was a great example of best practice. The primary school and pre-5 unit have their own shared garden where they grow fresh fruit and veg. The garden is run by volunteers, and the pupils from both primary and the pre-5 unit spend time each week helping in the garden. The volunteers run talks and carry out activities relating to seasonality with the pupils. The garden also hosts open days where produce grown is sold to the community, and both volunteers and pupils take part. Last year the pupils got to take home potatoes and soil to grow at home.

Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Education, Councillor Yvonne McNeilly said: “Our school catering teams work extremely hard to provide our children and young people with tasty, nutritious meals so it is great to see their efforts being recognised for the 11th year in a row.”

The Council’s Policy Lead for Commercial Services, Councillor Gary Mulvaney, added: “This is fantastic news and a well-deserved accolade. As well as ensuring pupils receive high quality school meals, the catering service also plays an important part in supporting local businesses through its supplier programme – something which has huge economic benefits. Congratulations to everyone involved.”

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