The Soil Association's Food for Life Catering Mark provides an independent endorsement for caterers that are taking steps to improve the food they serve.
The gold award recognises the highest standards of provenance and traceability and shows that school meals are freshly prepared using environmentally sustainable and seasonal ingredients.
Sam Davies, director of food at Cucina Restaurants, said: "We are very pleased to receive an endorsement from the Soil Association in the form of this award. Because food has always been at the centre of our business model, we have continued to push standards ever higher, preparing our very wide range of dishes at each site from fresh, locally sourced ingredients wherever possible. We're also proud of the fact that we operate restaurants rather than canteens, presenting students and staff with more than 40 food choices daily."
Rich Watts, senior Catering Mark manager at Soil Association, added: "By achieving a Gold Catering Mark, Cucina Restaurants is displaying its dedication to improving the food served within schools across the country. Serving food that is both good for us and good for our planet is incredibly important and nowhere more so than in schools where positive eating habits and diets can be formed for life."
Julie Goswell, headteacher at Southfield School for Girls, said: "We work in partnership with Cucina because of the excellent quality of food that they provide for our staff and students. I am delighted to hear that the Food for Life Catering Mark endorses the fact that the food at Southfield School is made from fresh ingredients, is free from trans fats, harmful additives and GM, and is better for animal welfare. Congratulations to Cucina; this award demonstrates their continued desire to be the very best in school catering."
The Catering Mark now serves more than 1.6 million meals to schools, nurseries, hospitals, universities, workplaces and other venues. Schools make up around 90% of this figure.
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