The Catering Mark Supplier Scheme Launches

Bringing together suppliers and caterers to meet the Catering Mark standards: providing fresh food that people can trust.


Mon, 10 Dec 2012


Soil Association Scotland

This week the Catering Mark Supplier Scheme is launched by Soil Association Certification, the organisation which runs the 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 600,000 Catering Mark meals are now served every day in schools, hospitals, universities, nurseries and staff restaurants in the UK.

They are provided by local authorities including East Ayrshire Council, Highland Council and Stirling Council as well as some of the country’s biggest contract caterers and public sector caterers.

To help them meet the requirements of 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; free from a range of additives…

Suppliers who join the scheme promote themselves into a market worth over £200m. Membership of the scheme costs £995 per year (but is free to Soil Association organic licensees). 62 suppliers, including Scottish suppliers Campbells Prime Meat Ltd and Cream O Galloway have already joined the scheme.

Mark Davies, Director of ISS Caterhouse 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.”

Margaret Gilmour, Catering Manager at Stirling Council says:

“The Catering Mark Supplier Scheme is a great idea – a way to bring suppliers and caterers together to provide meals that are fresh, healthy and better for animal welfare.”

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 in Scotland who are interested in joining the scheme should contact Elsie Downham, Food for Life Catering Mark Account Manager, at Soil Association Scotland on 07562 780 302 or email:

More details of the scheme at

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