Catering staff lead the way in Scotland

Aberdeen City Council is the first local authority in Scotland to receive a prestigious award for the quality of food they serve in primary and secondary schools.

Catering staff the Council have once again received silver accreditation for the healthy meals they serve in primary schools and have become the first in Scotland to successfully extend the award to secondary schools.

The award was given by the Soil Association Scotland’s ’Food for Life Served Here’ award which aims to improve the food choices young people make using local, fresh, organic, seasonal and sustainable produce in all school sites.

The silver accreditation represents the level of service provided in all schools across the city and was awarded after a successful audit inspection that was carried out at both primary and secondary schools.

The Food for Life award is a widely respected scheme, supported by the Scottish Government, which is raising standards of food quality, provenance and sustainability in public and private sector catering. It provides an independent endorsement that caterers are taking steps to improve their food, through meeting standards on nutrition, freshness, sustainability and animal welfare.

The national recognition follows months of hard work by many individuals on menu planning, recipe makeovers, and sourcing organic ingredient.

The Silver Catering Mark achieved by Aberdeen City Council is calculated on a flexible points system, which rewards every penny spent on ethical, environmentally friendly and local ingredients, and recognises steps to offer healthier menus. At silver level at least 5% of ingredients used in city schools are organic and a selection of local or UK produce is served.

Aberdeen City Council’s Communities, Housing and Infrastructure convener Councillor Yvonne Allan said: “This accolade is firm evidence that our staff are leading the way in serving great tasting, healthy food in all of our city schools.

“It is important that children receive at least one nutritional meal a day and I am proud that our schools are doing so at such a high level.

“I am proud of our catering team for their on-going hard work and congratulate them on this fantastic achievement”.

Angela Mitchell, Acting Director, Soil Association Scotland said: “We’re delighted that Aberdeen City Council have renewed their Food for Life Served Here award at Silver level for their primary school meals service. The council have also achieved this same standard for their 12 secondary schools making them the first local authority in Scotland to achieve a Silver award for both primary and secondary school meals service. This is a testament to their hard work and continued commitment to providing fresh and healthy school food, whilst also using more local, organic and ethically sourced ingredients.

“The team at Aberdeen City Council should be commended for working to develop local, organic supply chains and helping young people to make the connections between good food, good health, thriving local economies and a greener environment.

“We look forward to continuing to support Aberdeen City Council on their journey to make good food the easy choice in the dining hall as well as beyond the school gates.”