NORTH Ayshire Council has revealed that the overwhelming majority of ingredients for its schools meals are from Scotland.

Misleading figures from a country-wide Freedom of Information request by the Scottish Conservatives, which was published in some sections of the media, suggested that just 19 percent of food dished up in North Ayrshire’s schools was from Scotland.

In reality, almost 60 per cent of their fare comes from Scotland, including fresh milk, meat, fish, fruit, veg, cheese, eggs and bread, with a further 26.5 per cent sourced from other parts of the UK.

Just 11.7 per cent of our produce is sourced from Europe, while a tiny fraction of our food is procured from outwith Europe, just 2.4 per cent.

The Food for Life Scotland programme, funded by Scottish Government and delivered by Soil Association Scotland, supports councils to get more local food on the table, and serve freshly-prepared and sustainable meals in their schools. Caterers are recognised for serving fresh food, sourcing environmentally sustainable and ethical food, making healthy eating easy and championing local food producers.

Achievement is independently certified at three levels – Bronze, Silver, and Gold – with North Ayrshire achieving the highest certification every year since 2013.

Councillor Jim Montgomerie, Cabinet Member for Place, said North Ayrshire Council is leading the way when it comes to serving up delicious, healthy meals to our school children.

He said: “We are proud of our record in using local produce and supporting businesses in Ayrshire and across Scotland.

“The vast majority of the food which is served up to pupils in schools across North Ayrshire is from Scotland, supporting local businesses and local jobs.

“It’s disappointing to hear reports which are wrongly criticising the food we are serving up to pupils when, in fact, they are able to enjoy some of the finest school menus anywhere in the country.

“The quality of the food is second to none - we are one of only two local Scottish authorities to have the ‘Gold Food for Life Served Here’ award

“So parents can rest assured that their children are getting the best local produce available.”