ISS Facility Services Education wins Education Catering Marketing Award at 2014 LACA Awards for Excellence

For the second year running LACA (Lead Association for CAtering in education) have commended school caterers, ISS Facility Services Education, awarding them the Education Catering Marketing Award at the annual LACA Awards for Excellence.

Part of the LACA Main Event, a two day conference and exhibition for anyone interested in the school catering industry, the Awards for Excellence were held on July 10th at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole and acknowledged indidivuals and organisations who have been making a difference in the school meals industry.

The Education Catering Marketing Award recognises caterers who have developed a strong marketing strategy and techniques designed to show pupils, parents and teachers how great school meals are and why they should give them a try!

ISS FS Education supports the aims of the School Food Plan, a government led initiative launched in July 2013 designed to improve the way school meals are enjoyed and perceived, and created its marketing calendar with these in mind.

The Plan, written by LEON restaurant chain owners Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent, calls for caterers to improve the school food brand and asks head teachers to encourage a ‘whole school approach’ to food in schools. To help support both of these aims, ISS FS Education developed its Green Fingers campaign – a ‘seed to plate’ series of events in the dining hall, including ‘The Great Garden Bake Off’ and ‘I’m a Vegetable, Grow Me Out of Here!’ These week-long promotions included special food taster bites available to pupils each day, school visits from TV gardener Chris Collins, gardening themed prize giveaways and more – the most recent incorporating a step by step video guide to creating edible hanging baskets at school and home.

ISS FS Education was also commended for engaging pupils with LACA run annual event, National School Meals Week (NSMW). The theme was ‘The Great School Lunch’ – a celebration of school lunches – and ISS FS Education seized the opportunity to encourage schools who have achieved the Food for Life Catering Mark to celebrate what it means to be a Catering Mark holder. As part of the NSMW celebrations, two secondary schools were introduced to celebrity chef, Mark Sargeant who showed students at schools in East Sussex and Bristol some quick and easy recipes including a tasty stir fry which one of the students later replicated at home for his family!

In 2013, ISS FS Education was delighted to receive the LACA Change4Life Award for their work around promoting healthy living. The award of the Education Catering Marketing Award is another great achievement for the company, of which their Director of Education, Mark Davies, is extremely proud.

“Myself and the ISS Education team are honoured to have received LACA’s Education Catering Marketing Award this year. We have worked on our marketing calendar and have used the School Food Plan as a guide – focusing on how we can best support the schools we serve in promoting good food culture. Our aim was (and continues to be) to create a library of resources for pupils and their families to utilise at home and for teachers to access for use in school where desired. So far this is developing really well and we look forward to exploring new ways of communicating the importance of good food and healthy eating in the new academic year. ”