School catering is a complex picture - your school may be responsible for its own in-house catering; the Local Authority or a private catering company may provide your school meals; or you may get your lunches ‘transported in’ from a nearby school.
Whichever one of these groups you fall into, the Food for Life model is flexible enough to work with each of them. The criteria for an award at bronze, silver and gold level still applies regardless of who does your catering.
If you have your meals catered for by an outside organisation, it’s still important to see them and the people who cook the meals as an integral part of your team. They too need to be able to demonstrate to us that they’re meeting the requirements for fresh, locally sourced seasonal food to be served to pupils.
Through the Soil Association's Food for Life Catering Mark, we’ve created a scheme designed specifically for caterers – an independent endorsement certified by the Soil Association. It enables caterers to show that they are taking steps to improve the food they serve, using fresh ingredients which are free from trans-fats and harmful additives, and follow good animal welfare guidelines.
If a school has its meals provided by a Food for Life Catering Mark accredited caterer, they will automatically achieve the same level of the Food Quality section of the Food for Life award - well on your way to getting an award.