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Gavin Squires

Bidfood is one of the UK’s leading foodservices providers, supplying schools and colleges in the UK. We are passionate about food and are proud to offer our customers a choice of over 13,000 Own Brand and branded lines from essential ingredients to ready-to-finish products; catering supplies; tableware and cleaning products. We can offer schools support with compliant menu cycles, product ranges to meet school food standards and products to help schools attain ‘Food for Life’ status.

LACA Partner Q&A with Gavin Squires, Business Development Controller - Education - Bidfood

What is your school food unique selling point?

Bidfood is a leading foodservice supplier to private and public sector caterers focused on service excellence, great food, real value, sustainability and a forward thinking approach. Aside from our great service, the Education team at Bidfood are both passionate as well as specialists within this field. We live and breathe Education catering, working closely with our customers to tackle challenges and help them to create the best school meal offering to students.

What new products/services have you launched or are looking to launch in 2024?

We have some phenomenal partnerships with several local suppliers who we work collaboratively with, but also in conjunction with our customers. This year has seen the development of several gluten free and Red Tractor products which have an element of hidden veg within them which has been specially picked for our Education customers. We are also continuing to work on more recipes which include some of our NPD and we cannot wait to share what these products will be…. so watch this space!

We have also partnered with CarbonCloud, a pioneer in climate change intelligence technology. With state-of-the-art automation CarbonCloud’s innovative platform will provide us and our suppliers the opportunity to connect securely and seamlessly for better climate insights. As a first stage, we will have the initial climate footprint of our product range calculated swiftly in 2024.

What do you do to support the school food service?

We believe that the support that we give to the Education sector is second-to-none. Our Education Development Chef, Wayne Wright who won the Public Sector Chef of the Year Award provides menus and recipes to schools, hosts customer development days for clients, visits school kitchens, and holds cookery sessions with parents and children. On top of that, we also provide school customers support on allergens, nutrition, and recipe inspiration, all of which can be found on Bidfood Direct, our award winning eCommerce site.

As a leading foodservice supplier, we also share the latest insights, trends, and industry support which can be found both on our education webpage, as well as our termly newsletter which we send out to our customers.

How can LACA and school food operators support your organisation?

I think we all have to work together, keep dialogue and share information. The school food offering needs serious help in terms of funding as well as staffing. We have to work together to make sure our collective message is heard and keep up the pressure on feeding our children and next generation.

What is your first memory of school food?

Definitely the smell when you walked in the dining room and the friendly face of Olive our school cook who was there to greet you and serve you an amazing main course and pudding. I always looked forward to Thursday because it was roast dinner day and it was always followed by a jam and coconut sponge with custard – my favourite!