Brighton and Hove city leads the way in healthy catering

Bringing together the city’s caterers to talk about healthy food choices

by Chloe Clarke, Project Manager

Italian Lentil SaladWhile most of us understand the importance of sticking to a good diet at home, can you be confident your food is healthy if you are not preparing your own meals?

When the choice is from a vending machine with fizzy pop and chocolate or mayo-laden sandwiches the options can often be worryingly unhealthy.

Organisations like hospitals, schools and private companies are all responsible for providing millions of meals through the city for people such as students, employees, the elderly, patients and young children.

In Brighton and Hove we are bringing together organisations making significant changes to the food they serve to ensure it’s as healthy as possible.

We want to share this best practice with others across the city, so next week the Food Partnership and Brighton & Hove City Council will be running a workshop about healthier catering and SugarSmart City – a high profile campaign being piloted in Brighton and run in partnership with Public Health England and the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation.

Attendees will hear from a range of organisations leading the way in healthier catering in the city.

The University of Sussex will share the steps they have taken to achieve a Healthy Choice Award – a joint initiative between the Brighton & Hove City Council and the Food Partnership.

Sussex County Cricket Club have signed up to the Sugar Levy (a tax on sugary drinks which raises money to be invested in measures to tackle obesity and diet-related disease) and Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust are due to feature the SugarSmart campaign as one of their award-winning ‘dare to care’ staff engagement challenges.

Eden Foodservice who cater for all Brighton & Hove primary schools have reduced sugar in their desserts by 40%. These are just some of the examples of all the great work going on in the city. Local and national experts will also be on hand to provide advice and support those starting out on their healthier catering journey.

Project manager Chloe Clarke is organising the event. She says: “We hope organisations will be inspired by some of the great initiatives going on across the city and take action to commit to serving healthier food in the future.

“The workshop is part of a series of events for the Good Food Procurement Group, which was established in 2012 and meets twice a year on a range of key topics to do with sustainable and healthy food. It’s good to know that so many organisations care about the quality of the food they provide.”

Eighteen organisations have been involved in the group so far including all three local NHS Trusts, both universities, the city council, primary and secondary schools, care homes, workplaces and major venues.

These organisations represent most of the major food purchasers from across Brighton & Hove and they collectively serve over 1.4 million meals a month.

To find out more about the Good Food Procurement Group we have produced this useful information sheet.

Find out more about the Healthy Choice Award for caterers, cafes & restaurants and for early years providers, breakfast clubs and care homes.

Read more about what the Sugar Smart campaign is all about.

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