Anger as Kirklees Council shifts school dinner supply contract to Sheffield
Feb 17 2010 by Nick Lavigueur, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
ANGER has erupted after Kirklees Council shifted part of its school dinner supply contract to Sheffield.
Two Holme Valley-based traders had been supplying dozens of schools with locally-sourced fresh produce.
But yesterday it emerged that both Holmfirth based greengrocer Andrew Bray and New Mill’s Atkinson’s Butchers had lost their contracts.
It is understood the new suppliers are GW Prices Ltd and Young’s butchers.
Mr Bray, who supplied 38 Holme and Colne Valley Schools, claimed the decision meant there were now no local food suppliers to Kirklees Council.
He said: “It’s a kick in the teeth, I’m absolutely disgusted.
“They’re supposed to be helping local businesses, but there’s been a gradual squeeze on local traders and over the last 12 months they have all gone.
“We’ve got some of the best dairy and cattle farms in Europe, but the only thing local for people now is the smell of manure as they pass the farm gates.”
John Mallinson, whose Atkinson’s Butchers business supplied 23 schools, described the decision as an “absolute monster cop out.”
The two businesses were given two-year deals by Kirklees Council in May 2008 following a 10-month-trial and a two-year pilot scheme.
The move to increase the quality of produce came on the back of the famous Jamie Oliver-led campaign to improve school dinners.
Now furious community campaigners have accused the council of turning its back on local business.