25 June, 2019

HCL announces SUGARWISE accreditation on its school menu

Public Health England statistics show that one-third of UK children aged two to 15 - almost four million people - are now categorised as overweight or obese. One of the reasons given for this epidemic is because of the high intake of sugar children consume. If the trend of high sugar consumption is to continue, it will lead to further increases in diabetes, obesity, tooth decay and other related illnesses. This is why HCL (Hertfordshire Catering Limited) is proud to announce from next term its primary school menus will have the SUGARWISE mark accredited to them.

The SUGARWISE catering mark on school menus means that the menu provides options that are low in “free sugars”. The SUGARWISE mark gives assurance to parents and teachers that products on which the logo appears have been independently assessed and are low in free sugars.

Ian Hamilton, Chief Executive of HCL said: “At HCL we have been leading the way in reducing sugar in our school meals. In the past two years, we’ve re-engineered many of our dishes, looking at ingredients and techniques to see how we can continue to produce tasty meals that students want to eat while reducing the added sugar. We already employ two nutritionists within our workforce, who examine our menus and recipes and now by being certified by SUGARWISE, HCL is demonstrating its continuing commitment of reducing sugar intake in the children we feed.

Dr Giles Yeo, a Cambridge University scientist, who is part of the team launching the SUGARWISE scheme in school, says: "Obesity levels are soaring and the costs of inaction will be devastating. SUGARWISE certification of schools is a positive and pragmatic means of addressing this challenge. By getting certified, schools and caterers demonstrate their commitment to doing their part in reducing sugar intake in children and show they are serious about following public health guidelines. As part of the broader strategy to reduce levels of obesity in children, we would hope to see many more schools be certified. Every single school that participates in the scheme is making an incremental and important contribution to the solution."

HCL which provides school meals throughout Hertfordshire and the surrounding counties will have the SUGARWISE mark appear on its winter menu from November 2019.