School caterer Cucina Restaurants has introduced a ‘seeds to plates' scheme to keep meal prices down despite rising food supplier costs.
Food prices have recently been hiked between 13% and 18%, but despite this Cucina has managed to keep costs down, increasing prices by only 4% in comparison.
Steve Quinn, managing director of Cucina, explained: "For us the most important thing is to get kids eating healthily, and if we'd put up the price of school meals by the same amount as our suppliers we could have seen a surge in the number of less nutritional packed lunches making an appearance in schools.
"An added bonus of this money-saving approach is that students are getting to know what goes into their meals and where that food comes from with school-grown veg."
Cucina has introduced its ‘seeds to plates' philosophy of growing vegetables at schools in Kent and Reading and has gone back to basic nutritional ingredients in all 37 of its school restaurants.
Vegetables being produced include butternut squash and courgettes for soups, and pea shoots, tomatoes and lettuce for salads.
By Janie Stamford
E-mail your comments to Janie Stamford here.
If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.catererandhotelkeeper.com/tabletalk
Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Catererandhotelkeeper.com jobs