School caterers

“My message is: “Quality really matters”. And this is our challenge for 2015. I would like to see all schools and their caterers holding – or working hard towards – a quality award like the excellent Catering Mark." David Laws MP, Minister of State for Education

Important update:

From January 2015, if schools with an external caterer wish to apply to the Food for Life Partnership award, their caterer must have the Catering Mark for the school meals served to that school. Read more and download our FAQs

Over 1,000,000 Catering Mark meals are served in schools each day.

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 an independent verification that food is fresh, sustainable and locally-sourced; principles mirrored by the new food based school food 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 is...

...helping caterers score highly against the Government's Plan for Public Procurement - food and catering:

Catering Mark holders are 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.

 ...working with caterers to improve the food you serve, helping you to win new business, increase take up and communicate improvements to pupils, parents and staff.

"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

Award holders


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 Where are we now?

  • Over 8,000 schools

  • 300 nurseries

  • Working with 30+ universities

  • 75% of London Boroughs

  • 30 hospitals

  • 30% of English Primary schools


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