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H+J awarded Soil Association Bronze Food for Life Catering Mark for Selfridges canteen

Soil Association’s Bronze Food for Life Catering Mark for its Selfridges team member restaurant, Loft Café & Kitchen
H+J, the catering business owned by leading food services company Harbour & Jones, has been awarded the Soil Association’s Bronze Food for Life Catering Mark for its Selfridges team member restaurant, Loft Café & Kitchen in the iconic building on Oxford Street.

The Soil Association’s prestigious Food for Life Catering Mark recognises organisations which take steps to improve the food offer to staff and visitors by meeting standards on nutrition, freshness, sustainability and animal welfare. The Catering Mark is focused on raising standards of food quality, provenance and sustainability in public and private sectors. The award is independently inspected against strict criteria, such as a minimum of 75% of the menu being freshly prepared, free from trans fats and controversial additives and is better for animal welfare.  

Menus that make the Mark must be designed to make the best use of seasonal ingredients, use free range eggs, meat from Farm Assured sources and fish that is not on the Marine Conservation Society’s ‘fish to avoid’ list. The award guarantees employees of Selfridges, which employs over 4000 team members and was awarded "World's Best Sustainability Campaign" by Global Department Store Summit 2016, that they are eating freshly prepared, healthy, ethical and environmentally sustainable food.  

H+J has held the contract at Selfridges since October 2012, catering for the staff canteen at the London store as well as in its Manchester and Birmingham branches. The company decided to choose Selfridges in London as its trial site partly to prove that it could control costs in a large, price-sensitive restaurant whilst attaining high standards of food quality.  

In September 2016 when the award was advertised, sales in the Loft Café & Kitchen increased by 13% compared with September 2015.  

Steve Woodman, Compliance Project Manager at H+J explains: “The Soil Association’s criteria are all points that form part of H+J’s food philosophy, but it was useful to have them independently examined and to have recognition from the fastest growing best practice award for caterers. Selfridges has become a benchmark for our other sites and we are sharing the lessons learnt here throughout the company.”  

Hannah Bass, Restaurants Director at Selfridges comments: “Now, more than ever, we want to know about where our food comes from, so we are delighted that our Loft Café & Kitchen has been awarded the Food for Life Catering Mark - one of the highest accolades going for ethical, quality food in this country. Well done to the team on this fantastic achievement.”  

Abby Chicken, the Sustainability Manager at Selfridges adds: “Our team members are at the heart of the way we do business.  They say an army marches on its stomach, and this is absolutely true in Selfridges. Engaged people deliver great customer service and food affects more people daily than any of our other wellbeing strands possibly can.”  

Martin Sawyer, Chief Executive of Soil Association Certification, says: “This is a fantastic achievement by H+J. Together they are leading the way in the drive to change food culture in the workplace, and in showing staff and shareholders the great work the company is doing.”

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