School caterer Cucina responds to The School Food Plan
Reservations about packed lunches ban but broad agreement on recommendations
National school catering company Cucina Restaurants has responded in a broadly positive way to the government's recently unveiled School Food Plan.
Writing in the company's official blog, Cucina's Director of Food Sam Davies expressed reservations about the proposal to ban packed lunches but commended other recommendations in the plan:
"I don't think any of us in the school meals industry need be very surprised by the findings of the report, but it's good to see them flagged up in this high profile way. It is also good to see strong recommendations being put forward."
Praising the report for 'sensible ideas', Cucina MD Steve Quinn singled out proposed new school food standards as a key to progress:
"Sensible ideas are being proposed, but the challenge is to carry them out. Breakfast clubs, closer integration of food and cooking into the school curriculum, full choices for students on free school meals, we do all of these already and we're developing them all the time. As for more enforceable school food standards, this is something we've long called for. I will be very interested to see how these are implemented."
On the more contentious issue of packed lunches, Sam Davies warned against a blanket ban:
"We all know that the vast majority of packed lunches are lacking in nutritional value. But that is also true of too much of school food around the country. The healthiest choice for many parents is still the packed lunch option, so let's not take that away from them."
* Cucina Restaurants has been shortlisted for 'Education Caterer of the Year' at Caterer & Hotelkeeper 'Foodservice Cateys' awards to be held in October this year
* Cucina Restaurants is a fast-growing school catering company employing high calibre chefs in each of 42 UK state schools and academies. A wide range of school meals are cooked from scratch at each site each day, using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients wherever possible
Photo: Cucina's Director of Food, Sam Davies