Merton is praised for its quality food

Our borough is joint first in food award

Merton has been named as one of only two boroughs in London to achieve top marks for the quality of its food offer. 

Merton achieved joint first position in the Good Food for London report, along with Islington. 

Good Food for London cites Colliers Wood businesses Venus Bar and Brasserie, who have changed the oil they use to cook and prepare food, introduced salt shakers to reduce salt intake and provide a healthier choices menu.

Another example of a business trying to make a difference is Jose’s Café in Morden (right), who advertise smaller portion sizes and ensure fresh fruit is displayed on their counter.

Looking out for the borough's school children, Merton Council ensures all its primary schools benefit from freshly cooked food made on site.  The council is also helping with a number of community food growing projects which benefit many residents who are getting involved.

Merton continues to actively promote Fair Trade produce to the public and its own caterers sell Fair Trade food to its staff.  Merton leads a Fair Trade networking group which brings south west London boroughs together to share best practice such as promoting Fair Trade at school assemblies and encouraging businesses to promote Fair Trade produce.

Councillor Alambritis said: "It's great to see our hard work paying off. Encouraging people to choose the healthy diet option is so important for people’s long-term health. We remain committed to supporting good food initiatives and remaining at the top of the league.  As well as choosing the healthy option, this is also about promoting ethical trade and environmentally sustainable produce too."

The report's author Richard Compton said: "In the wake of the ‘horsegate’ scandal, Londoners want to know that their boroughs are serving good food that they can trust.  With our league table now in its third year, the Good Food for London maps paint an inspiring picture of progress by many London Boroughs towards better food.

"The maps also challenge those boroughs that are lagging behind to follow the good example set by Islington and Merton, and take more action to make it easier for their residents and visitors to eat healthier and more sustainable food."

Rosie Boycott, chair of the London Food Board, said: "This excellent report provides an informative snapshot of London’s food scene borough-by-borough, with the aim of showing the good example being set in areas such as  Merton and Islington."  

Rosie Boycott added: "In many boroughs, schoolchildren are now getting fresher, tastier and more sustainable food than last year, and tens of thousands of local residents have better access to green space for growing food.

"The maps are designed to share new ideas and good practice, helping other Boroughs make further improvements to help their residents eat better food. I am also very encouraged to see London Boroughs helping local businesses to serve healthier food on London’s high streets. This will improve Londoners' health, provide good food jobs, and protect the sustainability of the food system on which we all depend."

October 10, 2013

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Council Leader Stephen Alambritis with the owner of Jose's Cafe and Merton Council's Director of Public Health, Dr Kay Eilbert