ISS Education wins catering contract across Richmond schools
19/06/2011 - 23:00

A new catering contract has been secured across the borough of Richmond which will see the price of school meals reduced by up to 40 pence each.

ISS Education has won the new contract thanks to its commitment to serve school dinners which meet the Food for Life Catering Mark silver award criteria.

The Food for Life Catering Mark is an award from the Soil Association, which recognises caterers who serve freshly prepared meals which are free from controversial additives and better for animal welfare.

Menus for all 29 schools in the borough will include organic milk and bread, free range eggs, and chicken and pork products which meet the RSPCA's Freedom Food standards for animal welfare.

All other meat will be certified by the Red Tractor farm assurance scheme and no fish will be served from the Marine Conservation Society's 'fish to avoid' list. Over 75% of meals will be freshly prepared and they will all be free from hydrogenated fats, GM ingredients and controversial additives such as MSG and tartrazine.

The improvement in the quality of school dinners in the borough comes as a result of four years' campaigning by local charity School Food Matters, which recognised the importance of freshly prepared, sustainable food on children's health, behaviour and learning ability in schools.

Commenting on the new contract, Rob Sexton, chief executive of Soil Association Certification said: "It's fantastic to see Richmond joining the 13 other London boroughs where school dinners meet the Food for Life Catering Mark criteria, bringing fresh and healthy meals to over 82,000 school children every day."

Mark Davies, divisional director at ISS Education, added: "The Food for Life Catering Mark is akin to a Michelin star for the education catering industry. We're investing circa £80,000 to improve the kitchens in the schools and believe this latest contract is testament to our commitment to serve fresh, healthy meals to school children everywhere."