School catering company Cucina Restaurants has won accreditation from the Vegetarian Society, meaning it can now display the official logo on all of its vegetarian food products.
The symbol confirms that all the items on the labelled food are free from animal fats and contain no GMOs (genetically modified organisms). This will apply across each of the 42 schools with which Cucina has a contract, and is aimed at students and parents to ensure that the food sold is officially vegetarian.
Cucina's founder and managing director Steve Quinn explained that achieving accreditation had been a rigorous process, but had also helped the company to focus more on developing interesting vegetarian options.
He said: "This Vegetarian Society approval gives extra assurance to our customers, who can choose our vegetarian options safe in the knowledge that our recipes and working practices fully comply with the Vegetarian Society's strict criteria. We are on a constant quest to push the boundaries of what is possible in school food."
Vanessa Brown, head of business and catering services at the Vegetarian Society, welcomed Cucina into the society's food and drink guild, and said that it was happy the company could now display the veggie trademark.
She said: "Having a school catering company showing this level of commitment to its vegetarian customers, especially in a school environment, makes it easier to be veggie as well as giving reassurance to both parents and students."
Founded in 2005, Cucina operates at 42 secondary schools nationwide. With executive group chef, Ian Morgan, it seeks to send trained chefs into schools, and work with them to develop allotments and gardens to create fresh produce. It has also previously collaborated with top chefs on its school food offer, such as with Phil Howard from the Square and 2011 BBC MasterChef: The Professionals champion, Ash Mair.