Soil Association, Food for Life and Educo Partnership

Independent catering & facilities management consultancy support national school food charity

Educo, an independent consultancy that provides bespoke services to Head Teachers, Governors and Bursars to improve their school meals provision, has generously offered to support the Soil Association’s Food for Life programme by donating a percentage of their charges to the charity.

Through this donation, Educo are helping schools to benefit from the expert advice of Food for Life, providing healthy school meals, great lunchtimes and food education that has a positive impact on both pupils and the wider community.

Robert Weiner, Director at Educo said:

“At Educo, we know that lunchtimes are a key part of the school day. Food should be freshly prepared, nutritious, well sourced and served in an environment that makes dining a positive experience for the whole school. The Food for Life programme does a fantastic job doing just that and achieves some amazing results: Pupils in Food for Life schools are twice as likely to eat five a day and a third less likely to eat no fruit or vegetables than pupils in comparison schools, with 40% of pupils more likely to report that they ‘like’ or ‘really like’ school meals. We are delighted to be able to support this fantastic work.”

James Cashmore, Director at Food for Life commented:

“Educo focus on creating a first rate, healthy, tasty and attractive school meal service which can also generate financial returns for schools. Educo only works with caterers who meet national School Food Standards and hold a Food for Life Served Here Award at Bronze or higher, ensuring a healthy balanced meal for pupils that are fresh, tasty and ethically sourced. This high quality service sees results: Educo have a track record of increasing meal uptake with more pupils eating nutritious school dinners rather than junk-filled packed lunches.”

Soil Association’s Food for Life

  • Food for Life is a Soil Association initiative, which began in 2003 and developed into an award-winning national programme to transform school food culture. Today, Food for Life continues to develop approaches to transforming the food environment and food culture to improve health and wellbeing for everyone, whoever and wherever they are.
  • Through their work with early years settings, universities, hospitals, workplaces and care settings, they aim to support the provision of nutritious, well-sourced meals as well as practical knowledge and skills.
  • They are a leading voice in the campaign for positive change in all areas of food and health.
  • To find out more visit www.foodforlife.org.uk / @safoodforlife

Reports on the evaluation of the programme can be found here: www.foodforlife.org.uk/impact

Food for Life Served Here has been cited by NHS England and the Department for Education as a way to improve hospital and school food, and by Government’s Plan for Public Procurement as a way to guarantee a good score across the Plan’s Balanced Scorecard. The award also verifies compliance with the Government Buying Standards’ requirements on nutrition in hospitals, and incorporates the School Food Standards.

The Food for Served Here Standards are:

Bronze

  • Meals contain no undesirable food additives or hydrogenated fats
  • 75% of dishes are freshly prepared
  • Meat is from farms which satisfy UK welfare standards
  • Eggs are from cage-free hens
  • Menus are seasonal
  • Training is provided for all catering staff
  • Free drinking water is available
  • No endangered fish are served
  • Information about where the food has come from is on display
  • Suppliers meet food safety standards
  • School caterers meet government guidelines for food and nutrition

Silver and Gold

The Silver and Gold Catering Mark Standards work on a flexible points system, which rewards spend on ethical, environmentally friendly and local ingredients, and recognises steps to offer healthier menus.

  • At Silver, at least 5% of ingredients are organic and a selection of local or UK produce is served. A number of steps are taken to make meals healthier.
  • At Gold, at least 15% of ingredients are organic, a significant proportion of the ingredients caterers use must be from the UK or produced locally and further steps are taken to make healthy eating easier.

Educo

  • EDUCO is an independent catering & facilities management consultancy working exclusively for the UK education sector.
  • They provide a comprehensive range of services to help Head Teachers, Governors and Bursars monitor and improve the performance of their school meals or college catering provision.
  • They work with primary and secondary schools and further education establishments in both the state and independent sectors.

For further information about Food for Life, please contact:

Lorna Picton – Communications and Marketing Manager
Soil Association Food for Life
T: 0117 314 5180 E: lpicton@soilassociation.org
Twitter: @SAFoodforLife

 

For further information about Educo, please contact:

Robert Weiner – Director
Educo
T: 020 8446 4407 E: Robert@educo.co.uk
Twitter: @EducoUK