The University of Edinburgh has become the first Scottish university to achieve the bronze Food for Life Catering Mark, in recognition of the institution's commitment to serving student fresh, healthy meals.
The award has been achieved for the 24,000 meals the university provided each week for the 2,000 students in Pollock Halls.
The Food for Life Catering Mark is a UK-wide certification scheme run by the Soil Association to highlight food that is served fresh, free from controversial additives and better for animal welfare. The bronze, silver and gold tiers encourage caterers to make step-by-step progress towards using more local, free-range, Fairtrade and organic ingredients to produce healthier menus.
More than 3.5 million Food for Life meals are served in Scotland every year. Edinburgh University is the first higher education institution to achieve the accolade and joins Stirling Council, Highland Council and East Ayrshire Council in providing Food for Life accredited meals.
The achievement is part of a city-wide Edinburgh Food for Life project, involving the City of Edinburgh Council and NHS Lothian, alongside the University of Edinburgh, to encourage people across the city to benefit from healthy and sustainable food.
‘Ian Macaulay, assistant director (catering) at the University of Edinburgh, said: "With budgets to manage and our students' needs at the centre of the food we provide, the catering team has overcome a number of challenges to meet the high standards required by the Catering Mark. Now students can be sure that food isn't just freshly prepared using quality ingredients, but is also supporting the local economy and higher standards of animal welfare."
Laura Stewart, director at Soil Association Scotland, added: "The bronze Catering Mark is an excellent achievement, which recognises the vital role that fresh, seasonal meals play in healthy, planet-friendly menus, especially for large-scale catering. Students can be vocal champions for environmental issues, so we're delighted that the University of Edinburgh is engaged in sustainable food issues and is committed to providing a high standard of fresh, tasty food."
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