Best in UK sustainable and healthy food revealed, Winners Announced! Food for Life Served Here and Green Kitchen Standard Awards 2019 including Yeo Valley, Oldham Council and Beverley Edwards at Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Friday night saw the announcement of this year’s Soil Association Food for Life Served Here and Green Kitchen Standard Award winners. The annual awards, which this year took place at London’s Living Room, City Hall, London, celebrate the best in sustainable and healthy food across the UK.

Helen Browning, Chief Executive, Soil Association, said,

“Food for Life decided to establish an annual celebration to shine the spotlight on cooks and food providers from across the UK who are achieving great standards. There has been a doubling in the number of food providers engaging with our celebration of excellence, despite the turmoil and uncertainty facing the food service industry, and this is something we’re delighted to shout about. Cooks and food providers achieving our standards can therefore be rightly proud, confident and bold about providing the best in sustainable and healthy catering in the UK.”

Prue Leith CBE was joined by a panel of judges including Bee Wilson and Professor Tim Lang to celebrate the exceptional people and food providers who are making a difference and inspiring others through Soil Association Food for Life’s sustainable catering frameworks; Food for Life Served Here and Green Kitchen Standard. This year, the awards also celebrated the 10th anniversary of Food for Life Served Here and pioneering organisations who were early adopters.

Prue Leith said, “The commitment of caterers to safe, healthy, sustainable and delicious food is absolutely vital if we are to tackle our current environment and health crisis. Today we are honouring great caterers who feed the public in all manner of places: nursery schools, care homes, hospitals, visitor attractions and workplaces alike. Congratulations to everyone getting a Food for Life Served Here award.”

Winners were chosen by an independent judging panel including Professor Tim Lang - Professor of Food Policy at City University of London, Bee Wilson - food writer, historian and school food campaigner, Myles Bremner - CEO of Bremner Consulting, Stephen Forster - National LACA Chair, and Lynsey Gordon - Category Manager at Scotland Excel.

Bee Wilson said, “I strongly feel that caterers are the great unsung heroes in our society. To me, feeding someone with care is one of the great acts of love; most of us only do this for our nearest and dearest but caterers do this for dozens, hundreds or thousands of people a day, having a huge impact. To really take care over the ingredients and to think about how this will impact the wider community as the caterers have done at the Food for Life awards is inspiring.”

The judges were looking for people and food providers with an outstanding commitment to embedding the Food for Life Served Here standards, who are going above and beyond in sourcing and serving healthy food that’s better for the environment and made with sustainable practice in mind.

The Food for Life Served Here Schools Champion Award, sponsored by Yeo Valley, goes to Marie Bridge at GS Plus Christ Church Primary.

For this award, judges were looking for those going above and beyond to champion Served Here, who uphold the Served Here values and promote these in their School settings.

Judges commented, “Marie really demonstrates the ‘whole school approach’ in delivering a fantastic school food culture, helping her pupils to really understand where food comes from and why it is important.”

Marie Bridge said: “It feels fantastic to win the award. I’m really grateful. The crux of it is, it’s about educating the children on farm to fork. This award is for everybody involved.”

The Food for Life Served Here Independent School Champion Award, sponsored by Yearsley Food, goes to Simon Blackwood at King’s House School.

For this award, judges were looking for those going above and beyond to champion Served Here, who uphold the Served Here values and promote these in their Independent School settings. Judges commented, “Simon’s dedication and passion really shines through. He really is going the extra mile in ensuring a great food culture, enjoyed by children, staff and suppliers alike.”

The Food for Life Served Here Further and Higher Education Champion Award goes to Ivan Hopkins at Nottingham Trent University.

For this award, judges were looking for those going above and beyond to champion Served Here, who uphold the Served Here values and promote these in their Further and Higher Education settings.

Judges commented, “Ivan clearly lives and breathes sustainability – ensuring that good food experience delivers real social, economic and environmental value.” Ivan Hopkins said, “I feel privileged to have won the award. It’s won on behalf of a whole team; you need your team to engage, and over the last 9 years, the whole team have come on board. Not only has this made the food better for students, it’s made the team better and more skilled, because we’ve developed them through the Food for Life Served Here programme.”

The Green Kitchen Standard Champion Award, sponsored by Wallaroo Foods, goes to Aramark Ltd, University of Westminster.

Aramark Ltd are championing sustainable kitchen practise through energy, water and waste and scored highest in their Green Kitchen Standard audits.

Nick Thwaites from Aramark said “As caterers we feel like we have a responsibility to make sure what we’re doing is sustainable and ethical, so to get recognition for that is fantastic.”


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