• Clarissa Aston-Bush

    Commercial Director (Soft Services)

With a steadfast commitment to offering nutritious, ethically sourced meals while minimising environmental impact, Norse Group has maintained our Food for Life accreditation for 13 consecutive years and consistently pushed the boundaries for sustainability initiatives within the sector.

Serving over 3 million school meals annually, Norse Group select seasonal, locally sourced ingredients where possible to prepare dishes that are not only sustainable, but also healthy and delicious. We demonstrate our dedication to ethical consumption by prioritising UK animal welfare standards for meat sourcing and avoiding fish from endangered stocks.

Furthermore, Norse takes additional steps by sourcing free-range eggs and prominently featuring seasonal produce on menus, promoting biodiversity, and supporting local farmers. Catering to diverse dietary and cultural needs, Norse ensures that every student receives nourishing meals tailored to their requirements.

In addition to serving nutritious meals, Norse actively engages with pupils and parents through educational initiatives to highlight the importance of healthy and sustainable eating. These programs have included menu design competitions, Active Canaries, in which Norse Group worked with Norwich City Football Club to create a menu inspired by selected football players, and parent cooking classes. By integrating these activities into the school curriculum, Norse aims to instil lifelong healthy eating habits and a deeper understanding of sustainability.

Recognising the importance of waste reduction, Norse has implemented initiatives to minimise single-use packaging and plate wastage. Through close collaboration with suppliers, Norse has significantly reduced the volume of packaging materials by half, opting for universal, reusable containers and reducing plastic usage wherever feasible. Furthermore, Norse works closely with school staff to monitor and adjust menu offerings based on students’ preferences, ensuring that meals are both nutritious and appealing while minimising food waste.

Partnering with local suppliers like Barsby Produce, Norse supports regional economies and promotes sustainable sourcing practices. Barsby’s mission for sourcing fresh, local produce aligns seamlessly with Norse’s ethos, fostering a mutually beneficial relationship rooted in shared values. Moreover, Norse embraces innovative solutions such as Cool Food Pro, a carbon calculator that enables caterers to reduce their environmental footprint by incorporating alternative proteins and tracking carbon savings.

Beyond the kitchen, Norse Group is working to improve our sustainability and reduce our carbon footprint throughout the supply chain. In 2023, Norse Group awarded the PPE and Workwear supply contract to SMI, whose Rokwear range, developed in line with the new Global Recycled Standard certification, will account for 80% of the Group’s workwear requirements.

As Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) members, SMI strengthens Norse Group’s commitment to combat modern-day slavery and human trafficking, ensuring the integrity of our supply chains and business operations against such atrocities.

In addition, Norse Group recently introduced OdorBac, a non-toxic and biodegradable cleaning solution, meaning that even when lunchtime is over, we can maintain a clean and hygienic workplace without compromising our commitment to the environment and the wellbeing of our employees, pupils, and clients.

With every meal served, Norse Group reaffirms its pledge to a healthier, more sustainable future for all.