Catering Mark Supplier Scheme helps provide food people can trust

03 December 2012

The Catering Mark Supplier Scheme is launched today by Soil Association Certification, to complement its highly successful Catering Mark accreditation standards.


The Food for Life Catering Mark is a symbol of trust that gives assurance on the issues that people really care about in the food they eat: health, animal welfare and care for the environment. Over 630,000 Catering Mark meals are now served every day in schools, hospitals, universities, nurseries and staff restaurants in the UK, provided by some of the country’s biggest contract caterers. 

To meet the the Catering Mark standards, caterers need suppliers who can deliver products that can satisfy a variety of accreditations required at the bronze, silver and gold levels of the Catering Mark. These include products which are: Red Tractor; Freedom Food; MSC; organic; Fairtrade; non-GM; LEAF; free range; free from trans fats; and free from a range of additives. The Supplier Scheme will help caterers find suppliers who can meet these demands.

Suppliers who join the scheme promote themselves into a market worth over £200m. Membership of the scheme costs £995 per year and is free to Soil Association organic licensees. 

Mark Davies, Director of ISS Education says:

“The Catering Mark Supplier Scheme is a great opportunity for bringing caterers and suppliers closer together.

“As caterers develop their commitment to Food for Life Catering Mark standards, we rely heavily on our suppliers for support. This scheme enables suppliers to understand the Food for Life approach and help them organise themselves for the questions caterers will have. As a caterer, working with suppliers who are experts in, and are prepared for, the requirements of the Catering Mark could be a competitive advantage for those businesses.”

Cathy Rouse, Head of Sales at supplier NCB, says:

“We are very proud to be part of this Soil association scheme. Food safety, provenance and sourcing great products from local suppliers have been our proposition for the last 18 years. By working together with the Soil Association, our growers and producers we can hopefully ensure the longevity and wellbeing of our farming communities, while striving to meet our responsibilities as custodians of our planet.”

To join the scheme, suppliers must be able to demonstrate that they have read and understood the Catering Mark Standards; that they can provide products which meet one or more of the standards; that they can support Catering Mark customers with their supply chain, and provide relevant information for their inspections

Suppliers who are interested in joining the scheme should contact Emma at the Soil Association on 0117 914 2414, or email: More details of the scheme are available at


Some of the country's biggest contract caterers have signed up to the Catering Mark, including:

  • Harrison Catering
  • ISS Education
  • Eden Foodservice
  • Caterlink
  • Edwards and Ward
  • Alliance in Partnership
  • Taylor Shaw
  • Sodexo
  • Chartwells (Compass)
  • Pabulum Catering
  • Elior

Join to help us stop the use of neonicotinoids and save our living landscapes

Donate to help us create healthy farmland and countryside without pesticides