Source: Soil Association
300,000 fresh and healthy meals are being served every week day across England and Scotland, thanks to the Food for Life Catering Mark, the Soil Association reports. The Catering Mark offers bronze, silver and gold awards to help and encourage caterers to make step-by-step progress towards using more local, seasonal and organic ingredients. More details on the Food for Life catering mark are available here.
The majority of Catering Mark meals is served in schools, but hospitals, nurseries, universities and even football clubs are also benefiting from the award scheme. Reaching the 300,000 mark reflects an increasing demand from consumers and also demonstrates a growing recognition of the positive effect on health, energy and concentration levels, especially for children, the Soil Association reports. Evidence from across England shows that gaining the Food for Life Catering Mark makes commercial sense too – many award-holders have seen an uptake in meal numbers.
Growing take-up of the Catering Mark looks set to continue. In the nursery sector, parents are increasingly demanding confirmation that the food being served to their children is of high quality. Similarly, in higher education, students are calling for evidence that their universities are committed to sustainability and the environment. The fast-growing influence of the student lobby group People and Planet - which endorses the Food for Life Catering Mark in its Green League of universities - is indicative of the growing importance a university’s green credentials.