Organic lamb from Wales is being exported to Italy as part of an initiative to improve school meals in Rome.

The scheme covers the whole of Rome, where 140,000 organic school meals are served every day, said Kevin Morgan, professor of European Regional Development at Cardiff University.

Each meal costs the equivalent of 2.80 per child, far more than the UK spends on school meals.

“The notion of ‘best value’ has been calculated in a totally different way from that used in the UK, adopting a wider notion of ‘educational value’ that is not just focused on cost, but also concerned with nutrition and culture.”

Welsh organic lamb was served as part of the menu because taste tests had shown that Roman children preferred its flavour.

Rome has invested 166m in the centralised school meal service.