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Case Study: Delivering healthy options to Scottish Schools

Frozen Foods framework supports schools to meet the nutritional needs of children across the country.

Frozen Foods framework

The Frozen Foods framework is a sole supplier framework serviced by Brakes. It delivers a range of frozen foods products to schools across the country including baked goods, poultry, fish, meats and vegetables.

Accessing healthy, affordable food can be a challenge for some children, especially those entitled to free school meals. While for many, a school meal may be the only nutritious meal of the day. This framework addresses these challenges, while taking into account the requirements of the Nutrition Act Scotland (2007).

Working in partnership, Scotland Excel and Brakes have exceeded expectations in schools across the country. They have introduced innovative products specifically designed to match the high street offerings, encouraging young people to choose school meals over less healthy options outside of the school gates. Brakes have also devised an initiative with schools across the country to offer advice and interview skills to fifth and sixth year pupils wishing to embark on a career within the food industry.

When schools had to rethink their menu during the haddock quota reduction at the end of 2014, Scotland Excel and Brakes approached Scottish SME Joseph Robertson to help source an equivalent alternative to help schools meet demands within their budget.

Nicola Barron, Commercial Manager from Joseph Robertson, said:

“As a Scottish company we appreciate how precious haddock is to the Scottish market, and in particular school children, so finding a suitable alternative meant sourcing something of a similar look and taste.

The closest match to haddock is whiting, which not only tastes and looks the same, it is also cheaper and more readily available.

We introduced the alternative at several events organised by Brakes and Scotland Excel to gain buy in from local authorities, and with the help of Aberdeenshire & Moray Councils we were able to agree a very satisfactory product.”

The switch to whiting across schools provides a tasty alternative for pupils and could potentially save councils up to £35,000 each year, as well as supporting a Scottish SME.

The Frozen Foods framework began on 1 July 2013. It supports a collaborative approach between Brakes and Scotland Excel, allowing them to continually expand efforts to deliver more, get into the heart of communities and support schools in delivering health, nutritious meals to schools children.