Serving up social values and sustainability in school meals


Award winning school meals provider Enfield Catering Services has switched suppliers to better reflect its commitment to tackling the climate emergency and to support London businesses.

Enfield Catering Services, part of Enfield Council’s School Traded Services, has moved to use two small-to-medium-enterprises (SMEs) that have strong roots in Enfield – EFG Food Service and IMS of Smithfield.

During the tender, they both scored highly on food quality and nutrition, sustainability, quality assurance and service delivery, even when pitted against some of the larger meat suppliers in the industry.

As a result of buying locally, the Council will reduce the number of food miles it clocks up. The tender specifically included environmental and climate action considerations as part of the evaluation and procurement process.

Enfield Council has a commitment to become a carbon neutral organisation by 2030, as explained in its Climate Action Plan. In addition, the new suppliers will deliver social value to the borough, providing employment and work placement opportunities.

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement, Cllr Mary Maguire said: “As a result of this exercise we get a better deal for Enfield Council and nutritious, healthy and locally-sourced meals for school children. At the same time we will be supporting two fantastic London based businesses with strong links to the borough, who also share our environmental and sustainability priorities.”

The re-tendering for suppliers came as a result of the response to the Council’ Enfield Stands Together campaign, which helped the most vulnerable people in the borough with food and other necessities at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. While larger suppliers struggled to help, Enfield Council found that local companies were more flexible and far more agile. EFG was particularly helpful in providing much needed food supplies.

As a result of this experience, Enfield Catering Services engaged in a series of workshops with local suppliers to educate them on the procurement framework used by the Council. This opened up a new revenue stream to SME suppliers that they previously did not know about.
Looking ahead, Enfield Catering Services will be inviting suppliers of fruit and vegetables to join the framework.

The meals provided in schools by Enfield Catering Services are based on fresh food cooked from scratch using high-quality raw ingredients that are unprocessed. Wherever possible, seasonal and ethically sourced food and ingredients are used. Meals also cater for diverse cultural and dietary needs of pupils. Find out more at

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