Harlech Foodservice has won a three-year contract to supply more than a million school meals a year across Denbighshire.
The wholesaler, based in Criccieth, Gwynedd, has pledged that wherever possible the county’s seven secondary schools and 48 primary schools will receive food sourced in North Wales.
Harlech’s commercial director Mark Lawton said: “This is a hugely important contract for us to win against competition from one of the biggest wholesalers in the UK.
“Pupils in Denbighshire eat 7,500 meals a day and each week the head cooks in each of the 55 schools in Denbighshire place their orders for some 35,000 meals and we have the capacity to guarantee delivery for that through our fleet of lorries and vans.
“It extends the service we provide for schools in North Wales where we already supply similar numbers of school meals for Gwynedd and Conwy, which makes for over 100,000 school meals a month.”
Huw Hilditch-Roberts, Denbighshire County Council’s lead member for education, children’s services and public engagement, said: “We’re very pleased to have been able to award this contract to a North Wales company because it is important that we support the regional economy wherever possible.
“Ensuring pupils at Denbighshire schools get healthy, varied and nutritious meals to improve learning and development is a priority for the Council and this partnership helps ensure our school meals service can provide that. We know that the majority of their meat comes from their own farms and is prepared by their own butchers and that is another box we can tick.”
Harlech Foodservice bid for the contract through its membership of TUCO – The University Caterers Organisation – a framework which qualifies businesses to provide catering services for the public sector.
Lawton said: “We are a North Wales company and we believe it is important that we supply schools in North Wales with food from North Wales to support the local community, and we also offer a bilingual service which is important in an area like this so that orders can be taken in Welsh.
“Winning a contract like this enables us to provide vital employment at a time when the pandemic is having a drastic effect on the hospitality trade.”
Harlech Foodservice has bases at Criccieth and Chester, and between the two locations, the company employs around 200 staff and delivers more than 10,000 product lines to cafés, restaurants, pubs and public sector customers across North and Mid-Wales, Shropshire, the Midlands and the North West.