Hertfordshire-based school caterer HCL, Essex-based butchers William White Meats (WWMeats) and national distributor Bidfood, have all partnered to supply school kitchens across Hertfordshire and its neighbouring counties with Red Tractor, UK-sourced fresh meat.
The new collaboration sees Bidfood making use of their existing depots to stock and distribute fresh, British meat from a small, local supplier to more than 400 schools in the county. HCL schools will now benefit from the freshness of the products, and closer links with a family-run business, alongside the reduction in food miles due to the smaller number of vans on the road.
To mark the start of the new partnership with WWMeats and Bidfood, staff from HCL visited the butcher’s purpose-built unit for a tour to learn about the provenance of products, to taste some new dishes and to meet the founders of WWMeats.
WWMeats has been supplying the education sector for more than 25 years and employs more than 40 people. In the last 10 years, the company began supplying good value organic burgers for the school sector, supporting many schools to achieve the Soil Association’s Food for Life Served Here at silver and above level. The company’s ethos is to make products tailored to an individual school contract.
“It takes more time to work this way, but we like it, as it produces a better-quality product and makes our job interesting” says Tom White, director of WWMeats.
“Here at HCL we are excited to be able to work with a local family butcher whilst bringing corporate efficiency,” says Andrew Sugden, head of procurement at HCL. “We look forward to the partnership with William White, and Bidfood is eager to see where this can lead us, providing the best of both worlds. William White has a wealth of experience which HCL will benefit from and the quality of food they supply reflects the high standards we strive to achieve throughout the business.”
“This collaboration marks a new era for us at William White Meats,” adds Rebecca Marks, director of WWMeats. “By teaming up with Bidfood, we are now able to distribute our products to a whole new county. HCL understands the importance of working with suppliers who are experts in supporting their Food for Life goals. What’s more, by tapping into the vehicles that are already visiting HCL’s sites, we are reducing the carbon footprint. Education catering is our passion and we are thrilled to be selected.”
“We’re delighted to have been able to facilitate this partnership between HCL and William White Meats, which will provide consistent, fully traceable and cost-effective meat products for their school menus,” adds Tom Emsley, national account manager for Education at Bidfood. “As a current supplier to Bidfood and a major supplier to the education sector, coupled with their professionalism, standards and reputation within the industry, William White Meats seemed a natural choice to work in partnership with. The strength of our relationship to date has been down to clear and concise communication between all parties and we look forward to growing the range.”