£500,000 deal puts Welsh beef on school menus

A Liverpool city region local authority has awarded a £500,000 food supply contract to a company that will supply Welsh beef and lamb to 59 schools. Tony McDonough reports

Harlech Foodservice
Harlech Foodservice will supply meat products to 59 Knowsley schools


Pupils at 59 schools in Knowsley will be tucking into Welsh beef and lamb after the local authority awarded a £500,000 contract to a North Wales-based wholesaler.

Harlech Foodservice will supply a range of meat products to the schools from its base in Chester. The three-year deal with Knowsley Council is the first major public service contract in England to be won by the company which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

The Knowsley contract will see the business provide school meals for 12,000 pupils a day at the council’s six secondary schools, 47 primaries and six special schools – that’s approaching 2.4m meals a year. It follows Harlech’s success in winning school meals contracts with Gwynedd, Conwy and Denbighshire Councils.

Commercial director Mark Lawton said: “We are delighted to have won this deal against stiff competition as we strengthen our presence in the North West of England. Knowsley is a big win for us as it’s our first schools contract in England and it is showing the benefit of us opening our new office and supply depot in Chester.

“We will be supplying them with meat products, mainly fresh produce, and including Welsh beef as well as British pork and chicken and it’s all Red Tractor quality assured.

Beef, meat, kitchen, food
Harlech Foodservices will provide Welsh beef and lamb to 59 Knowsley schools


“Winning contracts such as these enable us to provide vital employment at a time when the pandemic has had a drastic effect on the hospitality trade and also to support local food producers.”

Winning the contract will see Harlech providing meals for over 120,000 pupils a week, delivering directly to each school. It responds to the orders placed by the head cook in every school each week.

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Harlech is also in talks with a number of other education authorities in England and Wales through its membership of TUCO – The University Caterers Organisation – a framework which qualifies businesses to provide catering services for the public sector.

It also has bases at Criccieth, Gwynedd, and between the two locations, the company employs around 200 staff and runs a fleet of vehicles to deliver up to 5,000 product lines to cafés, restaurants, pubs and public sector customers.

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