We are working with public sector partners to make it possible for menus to become more sustainable without increasing the costs. The aim is to make sustainable food accessible to everyone, not just a lifestyle choice for those who can afford it.
Kindling's Sustainable Fayre project explores and puts into practice ways of lowering the carbon footprint of Greater Manchester’s public sector catering, complimenting the city's Climate Change Action Plan, “Manchester; A Certain Future”.
If you are involved in public sector catering, we want to hear from you! Get in touch by emailing Helen@Kindling.org.uk or ring us on 0161 881 8384.
We are currently working with Manchester Veg People, with funding from the Ashden Trust, to run extensive pilots with three different organisations. The pilots are to try out an exciting package that will enable public sector institutions to incorporate fresh local healthy produce into meals, at a price supporting local growers – but coming within the costs of the current menus.
In 2014 we worked with Oldham Council’s Education Catering Team, and Manchester Veg People supplied top quality local organic veg with leeks, kale, and courgettes among the veg going from the fields of MVP grower members fresh to the plates of children across Oldham.
What we’re offering:
This is an exciting opportunity for schools, care homes or other public sector institutions to be one of the first to develop and start using a healthy and more sustainable menu, with support from an amazing group of experts.
Working with Climate Friendly Foods, Manchester Veg People, and Cracking Good Food the pilot will work with your head chef or catering manager (and/or menu planners) to trial a sample menu - based on the current menu but looking at how to incorporate seasonal local produce.
The package focuses on developing a menu that:
- Uses veg from the most local organic growers to Manchester
- Comes within budget
- Meets Food for Life criteria
- And is a low carbon menu – aiming for 20% less carbon emissions than an average school menu
· A sample menu developed in conjunction with you and based on current menus - the aim will be to keep the menu as similar as possible (ensuring that the changes are straightforward to implement) whilst incorporating veg that is in season locally.
· Support for chefs – introducing the project and any potential new veg to them, working with them to look at how to cook with the new produce. Also supporting them to put on activities such as tasting sessions.
· Manchester Veg People (MVP) - the menus will then be piloted using MVP produce in conjunction with your current supplier (we have experience of working with public sector buyers and are happy to look with you/your supplier at the best way to do this).
· Veg cards to go in with the orders - introducing the veg and the farmers who have grown it, and giving any top tips for preparing/cooking that particular veg (e.g. if it's being used as a side veg rather than as part of a recipe).
· A technical guide on how to introduce and implement the menu will be developed through the pilot for you to keep and use as needed.
· Evaluation - we will evaluate the pilot with the chefs to ensure that it is easy to implement and develop. We will work closely with you to ensure the system works well for you should you wish to continue working with MVP.
The commitment we will require from you is that you run the pilot for at least a 3 month period (or at least one full term if a school) with a view to continuing to use the menu and sourcing local organic veg if the pilot goes well/works for you.
Where it all started…
The Sustainable Fayre project began with a seasonal soup pilot in a Manchester primary school, in partnership with local authority caterers Manchester Fayre and funded by Food Futures. Alongside this, we produced our 'Sustainable Fayre' report, which set out ways in which Manchester Fayre could purchase local, organic (hence sustainable) food, offering economic, social and environmental benefits to the region. The report can be downloaded below.