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National Trust commits to Food for Life

26 August 2016

A comprehensive review of the National Trust's (NT) cafes, tearooms and restaurants has been completed with the Soil Association, resulting in the charity gaining the Food for Life Catering Mark.

As part of the exercise, the food provided by the NT's catering facilities at 134 of its historic buildings can be seen to have a positive impact on wildlife and the environment.

It has achieved the bronze award within the Food for Life Catering Mark.

NT head of food and beverage Matt Drew said: "Food and where it comes from is an incredibly important part of what we do at the National Trust.

"Not only because we have such a variety of special places for people to eat at but because - together with 1,500 tenant farmers and producers - we care for 500,000 acres of farmland."

Its relationships with farmers and producers provides the NT with local produce, reared or grown on its own land.

This includes Charles Spencer's farm on the NT's Stourhead estate in Wiltshire, which producers most of the eggs used make its baked products, which includes approximately 266,000 slices of Victroria sandwich cake sold each year by the trust.

The Catering Mark stipulates that all eggs must come from free range hens.

Mr Spencers' chickens live alongside his dairy herd and are fed on home-grown wheat and beans which are processed through the farm's feed mill.

Having achieved the bronze level of the Food for Life Catering Mark, the NT is looking to further improve the sustainability of its food by looking for more free range, LEAF and organic ingredients.

The NT's properties around England and Wales provide nearly 12,000 meals on average on a daily basis.

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