School caterers

It is widely acknowledged that fresh, nutritious, good quality schools meals lead to healthy, happy children, help improve concentration and performance in the classroom, and can positively influence eating habits in later life.

The Catering Mark provides a unique independent verification that food is fresh, sustainable and locally-sourced; principles mirrored by the new food based school standards. The school food standards guidance recognises the Catering Mark as a way of ensuring “that food providers are meeting the school food standards* and serving food prepared from fresh, sustainable and locally sourced ingredients.”

The Catering Mark Standards provide an achievable framework to improve quality, provenance, and ultimately take up of school meals. In recognition of this, the Department for Education has given the scheme a key national role in delivering the School Food Plan aims and helping caterers increase meal take up: read more

Catering Mark holders are also recognised within the Government's new Plan for Public Procurement as being well-placed to "score good or excellent" against many of the Plan's recommendations. Read more, and get in touch to find out how this can help you when pitching for new public sector contracts.

*The Catering Mark Standards require compliance with the current nutrient based standards, and will change to incorporate the new food based standards for schools at Bronze, in line with Government timescales.

Nearly 850,000 meals are served to Catering Mark Standards in schools every day, providing reassurance to parents, pupils and staff that the food they are eating meets high standards of provenance and freshness.

"Our income across the business has increased by 13% over the past 3 years - we attribute much of our success to implementing the Catering Mark."  Gerry Clinton, Havering Catering Service

Supporting the delivery of School Food Plan and Universal Free School Meals (UFSM):


Award holders







 Where are we now?

  • Over 6,500 schools

  • 300 nurseries

  • Working with 30+ universities

  • 75% of London Boroughs

  • 8 hospitals

  • 40% of English Primary schools


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