Inaugural Soil Association Food for Life Mark winners revealed

20 February 2009 by
Inaugural Soil Association Food for Life Mark winners revealed

Several school dinner caterers and Celtic Football Club have been revealed as the inaugural recipients of the Soil Association-led Food for Life Catering Mark.

The caterers will be recognised at an awards ceremony at Nottingham City Hospital later today presided over by the Prince of Wales.

The Food for Life Catering Mark is an accreditation scheme that provides a step-by-step route to sustainable catering. Open to caterers in both the public and private sectors, the mark has three tiers: gold, silver and bronze.

The gold standard requires the caterer's menu to be 75% freshly prepared, 50% local and 30% organic.

The inaugural gold winners were Celtic Football Club and school meals scheme Dorset Food Links.

Celtic introduced a highly popular menu to its Number 7 Restaurant consisting of 90% organic and locally sourced ingredients, while Dorset Food Links, a not-for-profit enterprise that supplies eight primary schools in and around Bridport, was also recognised.

Joanna Lewis, policy manager at the Soil Association, said: "The Food for Life Catering Mark has been launched in response to public concern about the implications of ‘cheap food' for health, animal welfare and the environment.

"It gives caterers across the public and private sectors a way of proving their commitment to the freshly prepared, ethically sourced food that customers are asking for."

Silver mark recipients comprised East Ayshire Council, which with 40 Food for Life schools is the scheme's flagship in Scotland. Shropshire County Council's Shire Services, which provides meals to 162 schools in Shropshire daily, as well as sixth form colleges, and 35 schools in neighbouring Worcestershire, took silver also.

Bath and North East Somerset Country Council and Devon County Council were accorded bronze.

Prince Charles urges schools and hospitals to buy local produce>>

Organic sales drop as operators cut costs>>

Contract caterers back Jamie Oliver on schools funding>>

Industry welcomes free school meals plan>>

Compass wins Soil Association organic accreditation in London>>

By Chris Druce

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