Food for Life Catering Mark

If you are a caterer interested in demonstrating to parents and schools that you can deliver menus that use fresh, seasonal, local and organic ingredients, high welfare meat and sustainable fish, the Food for Life Catering Mark is for you.

The Food for Life Catering Mark criteria have been developed to reflect best practice in healthy and sustainable school meals, in consultation with a wide range of leading school caterers from the private, independent and local authority sectors.The same criteria form the ‘Food quality’ strand of the Food for Life Partnership Mark for schools, which will also be awarded at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels.

Increasingly, headteachers and parents will be asking caterers to support the school's work towards achieving a Food for Life Partnership Mark award.

For a full list for Food for Life school caterers and details of how to apply see the Soil Association website.


As we got further into the programme more of our schools signed on to take part. Cooks have reported an increase in knowledge from their pupils and they now feel a real part of the school.

Katy Dawes
Nottinghamshire County Council Caterer 


Food for Life menu criteria include:


  • Meals contain no undesirable food additives or hydrogenated fats
  • 75% of dishes are freshly prepared
  • Meat is from farms which satisfy UK welfare standards
  • Eggs are from cage-free hens
  • Menus are seasonal
  • Training is provided for all catering staff
  • No GM ingredients are used

Silver (in addition to Bronze criteria) 

  • A range of local, organic and fair trade produce is served
  • Chicken, eggs and pork products are from sources which meet high welfare standards or 10% of food is organic
  • No fish is served from the Marine Conservation Society 'fish to avoid' list
  • Information about where the food has come from is on display

Gold (in addition to Bronze and Silver criteria)

  • At least 30% of ingredients are organic or Marine Stewardship Council certified
  • At least 50% of ingredients are locally sourced
  • Organic meat, dairy products or eggs are served as the highest welfare standard
  • Non-meat dishes are being promoted as part of a balanced, climate-friendly diet

If you have any questions about the Catering Mark, please contact Mike Bond  on 0117 914 2406 or

For Soil Association Scotland's Catering Mark office - contact Elsie Downham on or 0131 666 2474

The Food for Life Partnership is a network of schools and communities across England committed to transforming food culture. Together we are revolutionising school meals, reconnecting children and young people with where their food comes from, and inspiring families to grow and cook food.

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© Food for Life Partnership 2013
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