Friday, March 19, 2010


This post has nothing to do with school food but since Nestle have bullied YOUtube into taking down the Greenpeace video I thought I would add it here and encourage you to visit the The Greenpeace site where you can find out more. The video is quite horrific and is designed to pressure Nestle into changing their source of palm oil. I am no fan of Nestle because of their appalling record on selling babymilk in the developing world.Have a look at Babymilk action who have done a great job in tackling Nestle over this. I am also truly outraged that in this day and age they can still use child labour in their cocoa plantations. It appears that nestle fail to understand the nature of social media sites as they have now upset facebook users by replacing their hello and welcome message with an instruction not to use a Nestle logo or image! Interesting blog about it here.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

People Power 2010

Sitting at the first SMK foundation conference listening to Kumi Naidoo, exec director of Greenpeace International. Thought I would try a bit of live blogging. He is talking about Copenhagan - brokenhagan, jekenhagan, copout hagen. Important lesson for campaigners was how power in the world has changed.
we have to recognise that campaigners MUST learn to work together. Intersectionality (ugly word I know) but thematically connected class, race and gender.

How do we divide our energies and investments with different level of gov. Think globally, act locally - this can be flawed if real power shifts globally you take yurself out.

Insider outsider balance. We have been duped by being invited to table. Difference between access and influence. WE have been invited as a token response
Why is it govs in rich countries were able to find trillions overnight to save bank but cant find a fraction of that money for poverty/climate change. Why did we let banks get away with it.

2 tribes syndrome - one fixed on domestic issues, the other on further away stuff. We must learn how to unite them !

Struggle for jusice are marathons not sprints. Biggest contribution is to commit to a lifetime of involvement.

Does our work matter? Are we making a difference? Yes - world would be worse place without resistance. Never give ip!

Tony Benn has just arrived.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Roast dinner day!

Two of the staff enjoying a roast dinner for lunch.

Child Poverty Action Group call for free school meals

A coalition of anti poverty groups, childrens charities and unions have got together to support the campaign for free school meals for all. Thirty eight degrees have set up a simple online action you can do to support them. Please click here to send a message to your prospective parliamentary candidiates.

I am going along to an education debate this evening organised by The Times Educational Supplement so I am hoping top ask Mr Balls, Mr Gove and Mr Gove respectively where they stand on the issue of school meals.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Please email Food Standards Agency today about traffic light labelling

Dear Food Standards Agency Board,

Food labels in this country are a joke. Reading labels is a weary business as the food industry often make wild and unsubstantiated claims for their products. The Great British public have been telling you for years that they would prefer a simple easily understood scheme which all supermarkets use. The traffic light system have proved the most popular and easily understood by consumers. Your own research backs this up, as does large surveys by Netmums.

I am deeply disappointed that you aren't standing by your own evidence. But it isn't too late. You have a board meeting this Wednesday morning. Please overturn this recommendation and stick with recommending traffic light labelling. Generations of children and shoppers will thank you for this!

Yours faithfully,
Jackie Schneider

Act fast! Can you send a similar letter to Lord Rooker via

There is an article from Telegraph here with a quote from Christine from Children's Food Campaign

Friday, March 5, 2010

Have you signed yet?

LACA and Caterer and Hotelkeeper are running a campaign called "School Meals Matter" to persuade the next government they must support the school meal service by protecting the lunch grant money. Without this support the're are very real fears that the school meal service will disintergrate.

It only takes a minute so sign up now! Why not send the link to all your pals. We have seen such dramatic improvements in school food over the last 5 years - I couldn't bear to have to do it all over again because lack of investment!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Finally Poplar Primary School gets a fully functioning kitchen!

Almost 5 years to the month we started Merton Parents for Better Food in Schools the last primary school in the borough gets its own state of the art kitchen capable of cooking school meals from scratch. This week pupils enjoyed freshly cooked meals rather than the reheated meals from Wimbledon Chase. The difference was most dramatic with the vegetables. Children who previously refused to take roast potatoes now were astounded at the taste and texture of the freshly roasted ones. The chocolate and beetroot brownies, still warm from the oven, were also a big hit.
Numbers of children taking the meals are growing which is causing a few headaches for school staff but a new hall which will allow school dinners and packed lunches to sit together should sort out the overcrowding problems.

We have a Merton Parents committee meeting tonight which is mainly focusing on the problems faced in secondary schools in the borough but I should we should take a moment to celebrate our sucesses in the primary schools. Many of the parents who campaigned hard for primary school kitchens will not benefit as there children have now moved on to secondary schools. let's see if we can get the secondaries sorted before their kids move on!