Fish is the dish of the day as children across England and Wales are encouraged to make environmentally friendly decisions about what they eat.
School meals provider, Sodexo, has become the first school meals provider to achieve Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification across multiple school contracts in England and Wales. The new eco-labelled menus, which include dishes such as a salmon starter and breaded pollack, have been designed to help children think about what they are eating and where it comes from. The blue fish-tick logo of the MSC features on the menu to assure customers that the fish can be traced back to sustainable stocks.
Sodexo recently launched the new menu at a Wiltshire school, where children attended a special assembly to learn all about why the world is in danger of running out of fish and the problems of over fishing. They also enjoyed a fish lunch and had a special visit from the MSCs mascot, Murdock the Fishermans Cat.
Over 40,000 school meals are served to pupils by Sodexo everyday. The new MSC certified menu is being served at many of these schools to assist MSC in seeking out solutions to the global problem of over fishing. MSCs Fish and Kids project is raising awareness of sustainable fishing in the classroom and encourages children, parents, teachers and caterers to choose sustainable seafood to ensure the future of fish, fishing communities and the environment.
Jane Bristow, managing director, Sodexo Education, said: Serving healthy food is important but at Sodexo we work hard to educate the next generation of consumers about the food they eat. MSC certification will visibly highlight our commitment to supporting healthy marine life and stress to pupils, parents and teachers the importance of choosing environmentally friendly options.
Mr D Jopling, head teacher at Southbroom Junior School in Devizes, Wiltshire, said: It is so important that children learn where the food they eat comes from and how it reaches their plate. I hope it will encourage them to be kind to the environment and become responsible young adults.
Sodexo provides food services to a number of sectors and further to this, was recently awarded the Red Tractor certification for its commitment to supplying customers with quality produce sourced from British farms. Sodexo sites in its education, corporate, healthcare and defence sectors now provide milk and cream and fruit and vegetables that have been produced to Red Tractor standards and can be traced from field to fork. Sodexo supports British farmers by supplying over 80 listed lines of seasonal fruit and vegetables such as carrots, strawberries, leeks and potatoes.
Michelle Hanson, commercial director, Sodexo UK and Ireland: said: We are delighted to be in a position to make this announcement. As part of our sustainable procurement strategy, it is incredibly important for us to support British farmers as much as possible and, via the Red Tractor scheme, we are able to provide our customers with a guarantee that their food has reached their plate from the most sustainable British sources. The work doesnt stop here as we are currently in the process of further enhancing our sustainable procurement activities by working with a number of other partners.