Pride Catering achieves industry first for care home sector

Pride Catering Partnership, the Guildford-based specialist caterer, has become the first caterer to achieve a Food for Life Catering Mark from the Soil Association for an operation in the care sector. The award was given for the catering services at Whitgift House, a residential care home in South Croydon.

The Soil Association's Food for Life Catering Mark is a rigorous, independent catering industry standard which guarantees that food served is freshly prepared, using seasonal, local and organic ingredients, free from undesirable additives and GM ingredients, with meat produced to British welfare and quality requirements.

Pride, which currently holds a mixture of bronze, silver and gold Food for Life Catering Marks in a cross-section of other operations, had already proven its commitment to high food quality standards, traceability and provenance before it set a Catering Mark for the care sector in its sights. Apart from its fresh food ethos, the company only uses free-range chicken and eggs, sustainable seafood, and it never prepares meals with GM ingredients or hydrogenated fats in any of its operations.

Deborah Kenny and Chris Harcus, Senior Operations Manager for Pride and Chef Manager for Whitgift House respectively, set out to make meals for the residents as healthy and nutritious as possible. Deborah Kenny explained, “It’s not always that easy to source everything you want at the price you need to pay but we have persevered and we’ve succeeded. Given the shocking news about the food chain recently, we’re even more convinced that Pride’s food strategy is the right route for better quality food and giving our customers confidence.

“Our meals are free from processed ingredients, trans-fats and undesirable additives and the fresh produce used is British, that is providing it can be physically grown in our climate! Our fresh vegetables are being sourced locally from farms in and around Ashford and free-range meat from a butcher in Lingfield.”

Philomena Kavanagh, Head of Care at Whitgift House, said: “At Whitgift House we’re committed to the highest standards of care and we feel it’s important to provide healthy and nutritious meals for residents using fresh, locally sourced produce. This award is our guarantee to them.

“Not only are our residents benefiting from a healthier diet, they are also enjoying their food more. We are not going to stop with the Bronze award; plans are already underway to go for Gold!”

Rob Sexton, CEO of Soil Association Certification, said: “We’re delighted that Whitgift House’s caterers, Pride, have achieved this award. It’s incredibly important that the highest standards of food, represented by the Catering Mark, are extended to the most vulnerable people in society, all the way from children in nurseries to people in care homes. Well done to Whitgift House for blazing the trail.” Ends

Photo shows Deborah Kenny and Chris Harcus, both of Pride Catering, receiving their award from the Soil Association.

Notes to editors:

For further information, please contact Andrew Merrett on 07771 737995 or email andrewm@amcomm.co.uk

Pride Catering – www.pridecatering.co.uk

Pride Catering Partnership was formed by Roger Aldridge and Tim Price in early 1998. Today they operate at 40 sites across London and the South East in schools, healthcare and business and industry.

Their passion is for fresh food, skilfully prepared and deliciously presented. Their partnership approach with clients and suppliers alike, supported by practical quality systems and experienced management, has led to the substantial growth of the company.

Pride define their approach through three key areas:

·       fresh food - they only use the best and have been very exacting in building up a reliable network of trusted local, regional and national suppliers.

·       fresh ideas – their chefs value traditional fare but are also innovative food enthusiasts who enjoy presenting customers with a contemporary choice. They are carefully trained to provide balanced and nutritional meals to a budget.

·       fresh approach – Pride views its clients and suppliers as partners with whom they can share and develop ideas to benefit all parties.

Food for Life Catering Mark – www.foodforlife.org.uk

The Food for Life Catering Mark is aimed at caterers interested in demonstrating to customers that they can deliver menus that use fresh, seasonal, local and organic ingredients, high welfare meat and sustainable fish.

The Food for Life Catering Mark criteria were originally developed to reflect best practice in healthy and sustainable school meals, in consultation with a wide range of leading caterers from the private, independent and local authority sectors.

 

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