Broch councillor slams imported foods for kids’ school meals

Councillor Charles Buchan.
Councillor Charles Buchan.

Fraserburgh and district councillor Charles Buchan has slammed a programme of importing chickens from Thailand for school meals.

The councillor, a former teacher at Fraserburgh Academy, has said that he and his fellow elected members of the education, learning and leisure committee believed Aberdeenshire’s children deserved to be fed high quality, local produce.

Commenting on the revelation of the imported chickens, which were made known at a meeting of the committee last month, Councillor Buchan said: ““I and other local councillors fought hard to improve the quality of food served to our school children by school meals kitchens.

“We were disappointed to discover that, despite Aberdeenshire and Scotland producing some of the best food in the world, which wins many awards, our children are fed chicken reared in Thailand, from the other side of the world.”

He added that the local councillors on the committee argued that children deserved to be served high quality fish, meat, milk, fruit and vegetables from local sources if possible.

Councillor Buchan continued: “Our food industries are very important to our rural and coastal communities.

“The economic and social effect of a vibrant food industry sector is significant and necessary to our communities.

“Our children is the most important element for our future, and their health and wellbeing must be our first priority.

“The Committee, after much debate, instructed the school meals service to go back and consider using the guidelines of the Food for Life programme, run by the Soil Association, which aims to transform food culture, by encouraging traceability, and high standards of food sourcing, so that parents and carers can be assured that the food our children are eating in school is freshly prepared, and environmentally sustainable and seasonal.”

The report given to councillors on this issue is available to view on Aberdeenshire Council’s website at
www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk.