Welcome to coretalk. The summer has been a busy time for the healthyliving award, with a number of ‘firsts’ to celebrate. These include our first award in Orkney, and the first smoothie bar and first cookery school to achieve the award.

August sees the healthyliving award celebrate its second anniversary, which means the first wave of award holders are now reaching the end of their award term. Information about the quick and easy reapplication process is available here. This month also sees our 900th registration, with caterers across Scotland continuing to support healthy eating and receive recognition for their efforts through the award.

Recent research carried out by both the Food Standards Agency and National Consumer Council shows that customers would like information to be made available about the food they buy when eating out. Our Scottish caterers are clearly leading by example, using the green apple as the sign of healthier food and making it easier for their customers to make informed choices. Read more about the research here.

We’re always pleased to hear from caterers across the country, and our new ‘60 Second Microbites’ feature lets you see what our award holders think of the award. If you would like to share your experiences then please contact us.

What’s cooking?

healthyliving award sets the standard for the rest of the UK

The healthyliving award is leading the way for the rest of the UK. A report published by the UK Government acknowledges the success of the healthyliving award and the contribution that it is making towards improving the diet of a nation. Food Matters – Towards a Strategy for the 21st Century cites the award as an example of good practice and encourages others to follow its lead.

In July, the Prime Minister commissioned the report to provide an overview of the Government’s food policy. It includes a section specifically focusing on the provision of information and advice for customers when eating out. The healthyliving award is featured as a case study demonstrating how caterers can help their customers to make informed choices.

The healthyliving award team is delighted with such a positive acknowledgement, especially as the report calls for stronger partnership between Government and the food services industry to help consumers make healthier choices. This support will continue to strengthen demand for the award from caterers and consumers alike.

The report demonstrates that Scotland is leading by example and that the success of the healthyliving award has not gone unnoticed. Already a number of local authorities in England are developing similar models, with several having sought advice from the healthyliving award team before launching their own schemes.

One such local authority, Macclesfield Borough Council, has developed the “Golden Apple” award to recognise local food outlets which offer healthy options for young children. The award aims to help parents provide their children with healthy food when eating away from home.

As the healthyliving award is only available to Scottish food outlets, the team are not in a position to actively cultivate relationships with English businesses. However the success of the award has obviously spoken for itself and the team is very happy to share good practice as English local authorities develop their own schemes based on the healthyliving award criteria. So long as the source is acknowledged of course!


New name for the Scottish Consumer Council

The Scottish Consumer Council is merging with energywatch and Postwatch to form a new organisation – named Consumer Focus Scotland. The new organisation will start work in October 2008, championing the interests of consumers.

Consumer Focus Scotland will take on responsibility for managing and delivering the healthyliving award, funded by the Scottish Government. The award team remains unchanged, and will continue to be based at the same address in Glasgow.

Look out for the new name and logo in the coming months.

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Food Service Sector
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issue seven: August 2008
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The healthyliving awardNHS Health Scotland - Scotland's health improvement agencyHealthier Scotland - Scottish GovernmentHealthier Scotland - Scottish Government