Caterers urged to embrace School Food Plan by joining the Food for Life Catering Mark

12 July 2013

The Soil Association is urging contract and local authority school caterers to join the Food for Life Catering Mark following the publication of the School Food Plan today.

The Soil Association welcomes the School Food Plan, which sets out the step changes needed to improve food provision to millions of children in England. The Food for Life Partnership, led by the Soil Association and supported by the BIG Lottery Fund, has already created a network of thousands schools across England committed to transforming food culture. The Food for Life Partnership is referenced throughout the plan - a strong endorsement of its achievements to date.

Many Food for Life Partnership schools are seeing increased meal take-up and improved attainment levels. (Read the independent evaluation report here). The Food for Life Catering Mark works alongside this to ensure that food on the plate meets high standards of traceability, provenance, and freshness. Catering Mark holders are independently audited every year, providing schools and parents with reasurrance that pupils are eating trustworthy food. The scheme is also available for food-providers who cater for hospitals, care homes, universities and staff canteens.  

The Catering Mark is providing significant benefits for Catering businesses - read a blog from Victoria Howe, The Farm Kitchen (Gold Catering Mark holder) about increases in meal uptake since achieving Gold.

Catering Mark holders are serving nearly 650,000 meals in over 5000 UK schools and nurseries every day. This fantastic achievement means many caterers are already helping schools to positively transform their attitudes to food. View a full list of Catering Mark local authorities here.

Rob Sexton, Chief Executive of Soil Association Certification said: “With growing scrutiny on the food served in schools, as well as increasing concern over traceability and provenance, the Catering Mark is a symbol of reassurance for pupils, parents and staff. Following today’s announcement, pressure will be on Local Authorities, Head Teachers and caterers to increase meal uptake and improve the food served in schools. Catering Mark holders are in a strong position to meet these demands so we urge those caterers not yet signed up to join.”

School Caterers with the Catering Mark can contact us to receive a ‘How to’ marketing and communications guide, to help you make the most of your award.

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