Oldham Council has been awarded a prestigious ‘Gold Food for Life Catering Mark’ thanks to the high quality meals being served in schools across the borough.
The Education Catering Team is only the third local authority in the country to achieve this honour – and the first in the North-West. The award is the culmination of a five-year journey of improvement which has already seen the council earn bronze and silver awards.
Every meal served in 92 primary and special schools by the catering team meets the gold standard and are examples of best practice. They are healthy, ethically prepared and contain lots of locally sourced ingredients and products which can be traced. All the menus are freshly prepared daily on site by Oldham’s catering teams using a range of organic, high animal welfare produce and free range ingredients.
Councillor Amanda Chadderton, Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, said: “I’d like to thank and congratulate the Education Catering Team for all their hard work and I’m delighted that we are the first council in the North West to achieve the gold award. Every day our staff prepares around 12,000 healthy, nutritious and tasty meals for pupils across the borough to tuck into and this award shows they are doing it the right way. Residents are more interested than ever before about the source and quality of the food they eat.
“The Food for Life Catering Mark provides them with a guarantee that our meals and the products used to make them are traceable, fresh, seasonal and better for animal welfare. They also demonstrate our commitment to ensuring that school children are receiving the best quality food as part of a healthy balanced diet.”
The Food for Life Catering Mark criteria has been developed to reflect best practice in healthy and sustainable school meals, in consultation with a wide range of leading school caterers from the private, independent and local authority sectors. The Food for Life Partnership is a network of schools and communities across England committed to transforming food culture. Together they are revolutionising school meals, informing children and young people with where their food comes from, and inspiring families to grow and cook food.