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Reforming school food policy

Initiative can transform school meals and improve consumption for children

Professor Kevin Morgan and Dr Roberta Sonnino of Cardiff University showed how the school food chain in Britain could be reformed by creating a better procurement system that linked local food production to local consumption.

Their research, which drew on experience in Europe and North America, inspired the reform of public policy at national and local levels across the UK. It helped inform England’s ‘Food for Life’ Partnership, which transformed meals in thousands of schools, reaching more than 500,000 children.

Preliminary results show that the initiative has made a genuine difference, with more primary school children in particular eating five a day. In Wales, the research prompted the Welsh Government’s reform of school food policy, ‘Appetite for Life.’

The UN World Food Programme has drawn extensively on the research to inform its own creative procurement programme, ‘Purchase for Progress.’

“The value of this research lies primarily in the ways in which it has enabled the school food policy community at local and national levels to understand the key components of a healthier and more sustainable school food system.” Dr Roberta Sonnino, Cardiff University

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