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Healthier School Meals for All Children: An Interview with Ian Dunn

Ian believes passionately that children should be eating healthier school meals. He’s the driving-force behind https://selfsufficientschools.co.uk/ and https://vegschoolmeals.co.uk/

I first came across the Self Sufficient Schools account on Twitter last year. It had a post asking people to sign a petition to make School Food-Growing & Self-Sufficiency a dedicated subject area of the UK National Curriculum. I was curious to find out more about this initiative, which was started by North London-based Ian Dunn, because it immediately struck me as a very good idea.

I still have fairly vivid memories of school food, which, back in the 1960s and 1970s, wasn’t very good at all. This was a salad-free era. I remember great big tubs of mashed potato and baked beans, toad-in-the-hole at least once a week, and always fried fish, or fish fingers, on Fridays. If we ever saw any green vegetables they’d usually been boiled to within an inch of their lives. Desserts were stodgy and unhealthy – treacle sponge or spotted dick – and nearly everything was served with custard. Fresh fruit was a rarity!

Goodbye E.ON…Hello Octopus

Home energy – an industry where customer retention no longer matters

Like so many people across the UK, I recently changed my home energy provider. You know the situation…you’ve been with your supplier for quite a while, and a few weeks before your contract is due to end, you get a reminder. You start looking at their renewal deals, because you know you’ll end up being whacked pretty hard financially if you do nothing.

My existing supplier was E.ON. I’d been with them for a couple of years and was reasonably happy with my dual fuel contract. But when I looked at their renewal offers, I was pretty horrified. I was going to be paying a lot more.

The Bottle and the Mug – a Sustainability Tale

A bottle of San Pellegrino sparkling natural mineral water from Italy and a coffee mug featuring a slogan that suggests its owner didn’t vote for Brexit. What’s the connection between the two? Let me explain.

For many years I’ve been a happy consumer of imported sparkling mineral water from Europe, both in restaurants and at home, without every really stopping to think about my choice. San Pellegrino, Perrier, Evian and all the other well-known European mineral water brands are nice to drink and reassuringly expensive. If you order any of them in a restaurant, nobody is going to think you’re a cheapskate.

A Roadmap to Sustainability for Small Businesses

There can be little doubt that consumers care deeply about the environment and sustainability, and they prefer to deal with businesses which care about these things too. According to a recent survey conducted by Accenture, a leading global management consultancy, 60% of respondents said that since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic they were making more environmentally friendly, sustainable or ethical purchases.

A societal shift towards making better environmental choices had begun well before the pandemic took hold and it seems likely to accelerate further once the world returns to normal.

Small Businesses Need to Up Their Game on Sustainability and Ethical Sourcing

A very good friend of mine, Julian Lyons, runs IMI Ltd., a long-established premium sourcing company based in Central London. Julian recently announced in a LinkedIn post that his company, which does a lot of business internationally, particularly with China, had updated the Sustainability and Ethics Policy on its website. It’s a very comprehensive policy and I know that Julian believes passionately that his company should operate sustainably and needs to avoid at all costs doing business with any suppliers which could be benefitting from the use of child labour or forced labour.