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Chartwells achieves sugar reduction target a year ahead of schedule

Specialist provider of catering to the education sector, Chartwells, has already achieved the target to reduce sugar from its menus by 20 per cent as outlined by Public Health England (PHE), a year ahead of its 2020 deadline.

The PHE’s Sugar Reduction Progress Report 2018 requires school caterers to reduce the level of sugar by 20 per cent in categories that contribute most to a child’s intake, for children aged up to 18. This is part of the wider Government programme ‘Childhood obesity: A plan for Action’, issued in August 2016.

Chartwells has successfully achieved this target across each of its 1,700 primary schools through the introduction of new meal options as well as a re-formulation and re-engineering of school dessert menus.

The in-house nutrition and food development teams nutritionally analysed recipe and ingredients data and went on to review every dish on the menu, reducing sugar wherever possible without impacting on taste. This work has been actively championed not only by the Chartwells teams, but by its clients and local authorities who have positively supported the implementation of the new menus which have been gradually rolled out during 2018 and 2019.

Chartwells has also made strides in reducing 20 per cent of sugar in desserts served across its secondary school portfolio – achieving this in 88 per cent of desserts on the menu to date, with the aim of reaching 100 per cent by the end of 2019.

Richard Taylor, Managing Director, Chartwells commented: “We take our responsibility as a food provider to children extremely seriously. Childhood obesity is on the increase, therefore reducing sugars in our lunchtime menus is a positive step to making a difference.

“Education about healthy eating is important too, which is why we launched Beyond the Chartwells Kitchen, which helps young people, teachers and communities tackle issues like childhood obesity, mental health and lack of exercise.”

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