Pupils in Renfrewshire’s schools can be sure they are eating right after Renfrewshire Council was awarded the ‘Food for Life Served Here’ Bronze Award.

Representatives from Soil Association Scotland visited Heriot Primary School in Paisley yesterday (Thursday) to present the award which recognises that the council is providing fresh and nutritious food to its pupils.

Heriot Primary pupils: Richard McKnight, Kai Ross, Rory Young, Morgan Gallacher, Eva Slimmon, Jamie McKechnie

Pupils are served a range of healthy, nourishing meals within Renfrewshire schools and all dietary and cultural needs are taken into account.

The Bronze Award ensures that food provided has no undesirable additives or trans fats, eggs served are from cage-free hens, meat comes from farms which meet UK welfare standards and no fish is served from the ‘fish to avoid’ list.

It also guarantees that at least 75% of dishes are freshly prepared from unprocessed ingredients, menus provide for all dietary and cultural needs, all suppliers have been verified to ensure that apply appropriate food safety standards and catering staff are supported with skills training in fresh food preparation and Food for Life Served Here.

Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board, said: “We’re delighted to receive this award which recognises the commitment we’ve made to serving fresh, healthy food to the children in our schools.

-R: Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board, Christine Kinney, Catering Assistant, Sarah Duley, Soil Association Scotland, Alison Cassidy, Catering Assistant and Kevin Carr, Senior Facilities Manager

“It is our aim to ensure all children are well nourished and have access to good nutrition while they are in our school system and serving food free from harmful additives is a key aspect of this.

“The Bronze Award is recognition of our commitment and we will now look ahead to achieving the Silver and Gold Awards which can only benefit our school pupils and help them to succeed.”

In January 2017 the Soil Association’s Food for Life Catering Mark relaunched and rebranded as ‘Food for Life Served Here’.

Currently over 1.6m Bronze, Silver or Gold Catering Mark meals are served each week in education and healthcare settings, workplaces and visitor attractions across the UK.

Angela Mitchell, Acting Director, Soil Association Scotland, said: “Our congratulations go to the team at Renfrewshire Council on achieving their Bronze  Food for Life Served Here award.

“The award provides an independent endorsement that food providers are taking steps to improve the food they serve, using fresh ingredients which are free from undesirable additives and trans fats, are better for animal welfare, and comply with national nutrition standards.

“We’re pleased to be working with Renfrewshire Council and have been impressed by their ongoing commitment to ensuring the school meals they serve are fresh, seasonal and sustainable.”

For further information on the Food for Life Served Here awards scheme, please visit www.sacert.org/catering.