‘Huge’ increase in spend on Scottish meat, figures show

14/11/2018 - 10:15
There has been a ‘huge’ increase in spend on Scottish meat by local authorities holding the Food for Life Served Here award for their school meals.

Released to celebrate Roast Dinner Day today (14 November), it revealed that Edinburgh City Council’s schools spent almost £220,000 on scotch beef PGI, scotch lamb PGI and specially slected pork in 2016/17, compared to just over £16,000 in 2013/14.

Edinburgh City Council has been working to increase the quantity of farm-assured Scottish meat on school menus since gaining its Food for Life Served Here Bronze award in 2013, with 80% of its fresh meat and fish now sourced in Scotland.

Cllr Ian Perry, convener of education, children and families at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “As a council, where our food is sourced from is extremely important to us. We’ve worked hard in conjunction with the Food for Life Scotland programme to increase our procurement of Scottish produce and it’s had a huge impact. 80% of our fresh meat is now sourced in Scotland, and we’re working on a pilot project to increase our sourcing local vegetables.

“Our Food for Life Served Here Bronze award gives parents confidence in the meals we are serving in the city’s schools. Just last month all Councillors were served a school lunch after the meeting of the Council – supported by our local suppliers – which went down a treat!”

The Food for Life Scotland programme, delivered by the Soil Association Scotland, supports councils to get more local food on the table, and serve freshly-prepared and sustainable meals in their schools. Achievement is independently certified with the Food for Life Served Here at three levels – Bronze, Silver, and Gold.

Argyll and Bute Council increased their spend on Scottish-sourced meat by 65% between 2014 and 2016, from £32,846 to £54,356.

The council attained the Bronze Food the Life Served Here award for their primary school meals in 2013.

Aoife Behan, Director of Food and Policy at Soil Association Scotland, said “Scotland has an outstanding natural larder, and FFLS helps more of our world class food and drink make it onto the public sector plate.

“Eating less but better quality meat is an important step in improving our health and safeguarding the natural environment. Using farm-assured Scottish meat not only guarantees it’s high quality, it also helps local businesses, farmers, butchers and suppliers, and, because it’s being cooked from scratch, it’s supporting skills in the kitchen and in the workforce too.

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