- 21 Jan 2008
It's more than a little perverse, isn't it? I'd hazard a guess there are two possible explanations:
1. Somebody neither overly-imaginative nor too bright in the council's schools catering dept. imagining that there really is some kind of health risk inherent in a school cook using produce grown at the school. An appeal to reason, comon sense and a spot of adult education should do the trick in this case.
2. The schools catering service has been fully or partly privatised, and using school-grown produce is being perceived as an assault on profits. If this is the case, the best course would probably be to apply pressure on the council to examine the contract to see whether the cateres are really allowed to do this, and if they are to seek to persuade them to accept alteration of the contract. These things are usually up for renewal every few years, so they'd be reluctant to appear too pig-headed over something like this for fear of losing the business completely, imho.
I would strongly suggest getting your local elected representatives involved in this, and not to stop making a fuss until things change: every comment made about this is spot on. Local councillors, county councillors, your MP. If the latter is the Stafford chap, he has a background in overseas development and eco issues, as I recall, so should be very sympathetic. Good luck.