Sodexo has upgraded its bronze Food for Life Catering Mark to silver at Southampton Solent University.

The Soil Association’s Food for Life Catering Mark recognises restaurants and caterers that serve fresh food which is free from controversial additives and better for animal welfare.

In 2013, Sodexo was awarded the bronze and over the last year the team has worked hard to meet the extra criteria required to gain silver, which requires 5% of its purchases to be organic, and that some produce is free range.  This is as well as the requirements for the bronze award which are: 
- At least 75% of the dishes on the menu are freshly prepared  
- All meat is from farms which satisfy UK welfare standards and can be traced back to the farm 
- All eggs are from cage free hens 
- Meals do not contain any undesirable food additives, hydrogenated fats or GM ingredients 
- No endangered fish is served

Paul Anstey, managing director of Sodexo’s Commercial Education division, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been recognised with the silver Food for Life Catering Mark. Achieving silver standard is testament to the hard work of the Sodexo team at Southampton Solent who are committed to sourcing the very best seasonal produce. We purchase from suppliers who can offer fresh, organic food and always look to buy ‘free from’ ingredients so that we can offer a wider menu to our customers, even if they have specific dietary requirements.”

Nick Hayter, Sodexo’s group account manager at Southampton Solent University, said: “Over the last two years myself and the team at Southampton Solent University have taken great pride in the work we have done to achieve bronze, and now silver accreditations. Our conscious decision to change the way we purchase and produce our food, has left customers in no doubt over our approach to catering, and our future commitment to providing more local, seasonal and organic ingredients.

Rob Sexton, chief executive of Soil Association Certification, said: “Many congratulations to the Sodexo team for this fantastic achievement. The silver Catering Mark provides multiple benefits to the local economy and local food producers, supports environmentally sustainable methods of food production, and ensures students and staff are eating fresh, nutritious food. The catering team should be extremely proud of their award, and will, I hope, see the return of this work with increased footfall and an appreciative student body.”

Sodexo has provided the catering services for the 16,000 students at Southampton Solent University’s main campus and its Warsash Maritime Academy site since September 2010.

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