School meals in Greenwich awarded top food accolade

Tracey Parnwell with happy pigs!

Greenwich based school caterer GS Plus together with its school food brand Incito has been accredited with the highest accolade from the Soil Association. The national food standards body has awarded the company the Gold Food for Life Catering Mark for its primary school meal menu in Royal Borough of Greenwich schools.

It followed an audit inspection which found that 94% of the school meals menu is freshly prepared – compared with the minimum required standard of 75%.

cwf1The Food for Life Catering Mark recognises the highest standards of food quality, provenance and traceability, providing reassurance that all meals at each school are freshly prepared using environmentally sustainable and seasonal ingredients, free from undesirable additives and trans fats, and which are better for animal welfare and compliant with national nutritional standards.

The Soil Association’s inspection report said, “So uplifting to see the GS Plus approach. When you stand back, the Company’s impact is something to celebrate and, as the menu says, ‘thoughtful food sourcing’ that goes well beyond the standards required.”

The inspector also praised GS Plus for dramatically exceeding the minimum target for freshly prepared dishes. Their auditors found that 94% of the menu is freshly prepared compared with the minimum standard of 75%.

The latest award follows on the heels of recent praise for GSPlus’s commitment to animal welfare, through ethical and sustainable food sourcing. The award by Compassion in World Farming of two Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards and one Commendation makes Greenwich the only London Authority to have its school meals service recognised in this area.

Cllr Peter Brooks, Chair of GSPlus, said: “Not only does this promote good animal welfare; documented scientific studies cwfhave shown that there are significant health benefits when animals are farmed in a more natural and less intensive manner. GS Plus believes that this work also offers an important message for the children about food issues and the impact these have on the environment for future generations.”

GS Plus Chief Executive Gurmel Singh-Kandola said: “We are delighted to receive this Soil Association award. Our food offer and the service we provide is at the heart of all we do, and together as a team, we aim to push standards ever higher.”