The top accolade, which recognised the caterer's efforts at St Stephen's School in Twickenham, came less than six months after receiving a Silver Award. Deborah Kenny, senior operations manager for Pride, spearheaded the company's campaign by finding and vetting appropriate food suppliers for St Stephens.
She said: "It was a challenge that we could rise to because we had such good partners in St Stephen's School's management team and support from the Soil Association, too. Teamwork was even more vital this time around."
In order to achieve gold, Pride had to demonstrate that two-thirds of its food offering is freshly prepared, half is locally-sourced and 30% is organic. Despite the budget restrictions, Kenny and her team were able to source the right suppliers and the company also designed meat-free menus for at least one day per week.
Katrina Kollegaeva, of the Soil Association, added: "We are thrilled that Pride and a school so close to London have shown that a Gold Award is possible. Pride never lost its focus on offering the children delicious and nutritious local and organic meals, sourcing and planning efficiently because of the relatively tight budgets.
"We hope they will roll out their successful model in other schools."
By Janie Stamford
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