UK school caterers win big with School Plates Awards
May 3, 2023
Sustainable schools receive national recognition through the School Plates Awards scheme for encouraging climate-friendly menus
Schools across the UK have been awarded for their efforts in creating healthier and more sustainable menus. The ProVeg School Plates Awards recognise exceptional school menus that prioritise plant-based meals, promote healthy eating habits, and contribute to a more sustainable future.
The first cohort of winning menus were announced earlier this week, with several major caterers securing awards across their schools. ACE Multi Academy Trust (Devon), Horizon Multi Academy Trust (Hull) and Leger Education Trust (Doncaster) received Bronze accreditations, which recognise schools that have made significant progress in promoting plant-based and meat-free options. The Silver award is given to schools that have gone even further, such as by attending ProVeg UK’s Plant-based Cooking in Schools workshops, and was achieved by the Thomas Deacon Education Trust (Peterborough).
Working with ProVeg UK, a non-profit organisation, the winning schools have replaced several carbon-heavy meat-based dishes with sustainable plant-based and vegetarian alternatives – while also increasing the nutrition profile of the meals. Some of the plant-powered menus include dishes like:
- BBQ Pulled Quorn Wrap
- Mexican-style Chilli Non Carne
- Homemade Sweetcorn and Chickpea Burger
- Sticky Chocolate Brownie
“We are thrilled to see so many schools making strides towards healthier and more sustainable menus,” said Jimmy Pierson, Director of ProVeg UK. “These school caterers are setting an example for the next generation, showing that healthy and sustainable eating doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. It is just about creating simple and delicious lunches that children love.”
Michael Dove, Head of Catering at Thomas Deacon Education Trust, said: “Providing children with good food is at the heart of what we do, and if we can help to save the planet while doing so, that’s a win-win. Our cooks have been working hard to develop great menus that the kids will love. It’s wonderful to receive national recognition in exchange for our hard work.”
By promoting plant-based options, schools are not only contributing to a healthier future for their students but also to a more sustainable world. The farming of animals is a leading cause of climate change, attributing to 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Through the promotion of plant-based options, schools actively are helping to reduce the environmental impact of their menus.
ProVeg UK is currently working with over 40 major catering partners across the UK through its School Plates programme. Since the programme launched in 2018, the non-profit has helped turn over 9.2 million school dinners meat-free or plant-based while developing tasty, nutritious, and sustainable menus.
Any UK school caterer can participate in The ProVeg School Plates Awards for free. To learn more, visit ProVeg UK’s website, or if you are a school caterer and would like to submit your menu for review, send it to [email protected].