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Caithness News Bulletins May 2004

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Food Highland Council    

Following a trial period in schools, The Highland Council will now be solely dishing up organic carrots within all their catering establishments. This follows a change in purchasing policy to ensure organic produce is on the menu.

Members of the Education, Culture and Sport Committee were told that TIO, who supplied the carrots for the trial, have been awarded the contract to supply organic carrots and MacLeod Organics have been awarded the contract to supply organic fruit and vegetables.

The Council's procurement contract worth £2.5 million for all foodstuffs, including fresh fruit and vegetables, recently came up for renewal. Education, Culture and Sports Catering Services actively promoted and raised awareness of the tendering process to encourage more local producers and suppliers to bid.

Chairman of the Education, Culture and Sport Committee, Councillor Andy Anderson said: “The decision to use only organic carrots and the promotion of the Council's public procurement process is another step towards providing the best quality school meals that we can within budget constraints.

The Committee also heard about “Food For Life” an initiative that aims to provide healthy, local, organic school meals that meet nutrient standards. It aims to source 50% of ingredients locally, 30% organically and 75% unprocessed and be backed up with a programme of food education for parents and children.

It is proposed that the principles of Food for Life be introduced within the Highlands through a catering pilot a Strathpeffer Primary School. Officials have met with the school board to discuss the aims of Food for Life and a consultation with parents is underway. It is hoped that this pilot would start in the autumn term.

The award of catering contracts is as follows:

Grocery - Sutherland Brothers, Wick
Frozen Goods - Woodward Foodservice
Fresh Meat  - John Munro & Son
Eggs -  Allarburn
Milk - Allarburn, Claymore and Wiseman’s
Organic Carrots - TIO
Organic Fruit & Veg - MacLeod Organics
Bottle Water - Fionnar Spring Water