Around three quarters of food on the plate of an average school dinner in Nottinghamshire is now locally supplied.
These figures are a contrast to the Countryside Alliance Foundation’s findings that just 60 out of 172 local authorities (35 per cent) asked know the origin of their school food.
Co Coun Andy Stewart said: “If you take the roast dinner we serve in schools, the meat and seasonal vegetables all come from local suppliers. Even in a dessert like sticky toffee pudding, both the milk and eggs are sourced locally.
“So in terms of quantity of food, locally bought products and ingredients make up between 70 and 80 percent of what you’d find on the plate of an average school dinner.”
The County Council spends around £6m each year on food for schools and around a third goes to local suppliers or those based less than 50 miles away.
“And according to the New Economics Foundation, every pound we spend locally translates into £3 which directly benefits the local economy,” added Kevin McKay, the Council’s manager for catering and facilities.”
Meat used in Notts school meals comes from award-winning local butcher, Maloney’s based in Tuxford. Their animals graze freely in the fields and parks in and around the county - from wild venison from Sherwood Forest and beef from Holme Farm in Rampton to pork from East Drayton and Hockerwood Farm in Upton.
The Council buys fresh milk from Newfield Dairy in Hockerton and its free range eggs come from Fieldson Farm Eggs in Lincolnshire. Fresh, seasonal vegetables - grown locally where possible – are supplied by Country Fresh Foods in Sheffield.