A SOCIAL enterprise based in Ellesmere Port claims to have become the world's first certified sustainable palm oil catering company.

Edsential, which provides local school services across Cheshire and Wirral, was inspired to review its whole supply chain from its work in partnership with Chester Zoo, the Orangutan Land Trust and the Chester Sustainable Palm Oil City Project.

It was also urged to do so by local school children who challenged the business to take more account of environmental factors and more recently to tackle the climate emergency.

Palm oil is found in many food products worldwide but its production is said to be having a devastating environmental impact.

Local Authorities Caters Association (LACA) launched its National School Meals Week with a 'Taste for Yourself' tour of England and Wales earlier this month.

Edsential chose Highfield Community Primary School in Blacon to show off some of its catering.

School Chef of the Year 2019, Steven Cross, joined the school's catering team in the kitchen to help produce a celebratory menu that "embraced the very best of modern day school meals".

Headteacher Nicky Dowling said: “We are delighted to host this event today and very proud to have been selected by Edsential to showcase the best of education catering across Chester and the Wirral.

"Our children have thoroughly enjoyed the displays on show and learning more about the environment and the importance of sustainable resources.”

Ian McGrady, Managing Director of Edsential, added: “Our whole ethos is about changing children’s futures for the better and we were compelled to do our best to provide great, healthy school meals but also in a way that supported the environment and communities where that food is produced.

"Much of our food is sourced locally in Cheshire but we also needed to look at ingredients and working with Chester Zoo educated and inspired us to look at only using sustainable palm oil. It wasn’t easy to change but the hard work has paid off and we are proud to be certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.”

To find out more about Edsential’s palm oil journey, please visit www.edsential.com/palmoil or go to hello@edsential.co.uk.