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School meals produced with sustainable palm oil products

Edsential, a social enterprise that provides west Cheshire and Wirral schools with catering services, became the world's first certified sustainable palm oil catering company in 2019 after being inspired by local school children who were passionate about protecting the natural environment.

The organisation is owned by Cheshire West and Chester Council and Wirral Council, providing local schools with catering, teaching, residential, music, school improvement and other services.

The service started looking at ways to become more sustainable in 2018 when the pupils that they served meals to everyday challenged the organisation to look at ways of reducing Edsential's environmental impact and support issues that the pupils cared about, such as climate change and the destruction of rain forests worldwide.

Following this discussion, the organisation reviewed its whole supply chain in the catering service and started using sustainable palm oil in the five million school meals that they serve each year and were certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

By choosing ethically sourced and environmentally friendly ingredients, Edsential is helping to protect habitat for orangutans and other wildlife in tropical countries as well as supporting local farmers and suppliers who meet high animal welfare and environmental standards in their food production.

Edsential has also reduced the use of single-use plastics in its food service and has meat-free Fridays each week in the schools it supplies and offers meat free options on their menus every day.

For further information about Edsential’s work around palm oil:

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