News & media

11th January 2011

Caterlink reawarded contract to feed pupils in Camden and Islington


Tunbridge Wells, Kent:  6th January 2011: State Education catering specialist Caterlink has been selected to provide services to two London boroughs, after an innovative joint tender by the purchasing authorities.  The deal will ensure the continuation of a high quality school meals service in Camden and Islington, whilst delivering significant savings as the public sector continues to tighten its belt.


Caterlink currently provides school meals under individual agreements in both Camden and Islington and from next year will work with more than 100 schools across the boroughs to deliver 17,000 locally-sourced and freshly-prepared meals a day.

Every meal served will be freshly prepared on site using locally sourced ingredients, providing the children and staff in primary and secondary schools, as well as children’s centres and nurseries in Islington, with a healthy, nutritious and balanced diet whilst at school.


Camden and Islington’s decision to combine forces to procure their catering services is forecast to deliver substantial savings. These efficiencies have been achieved by Caterlink working in partnership with their supply chain to protect the London boroughs from the continuing impact of food inflation through supporting local food suppliers with new long term opportunities to help feed children across their community.


This contract award is the first time Camden and Islington have reappointed an existing incumbent school meals provider and caps fruitful partnerships with both boroughs. Caterlink began working with Camden in 2006 and Islington in 2007 and since that time they have helped to drive lunch time uptake to an average of over 70% across the boroughs, comparing favourably to the national average in England of 41.4%.


Islington Council's executive member for children and young people, Cllr Richard Watts, explained:"We want to ensure that we're providing high quality, healthy and nutritious school meals for Islington pupils, while also getting the best value for money.  Caterlink proved to be the best providers to do that and signing this joint contract with Camden will save Islington Council £900,000 a year - an important saving in light of the Government cuts."


Camden Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Families, Cllr Heather Johnson, said:  “We examined all the tenders very closely and have chosen the provider that scored best in all areas, providing both value for money and quality of service. I am confident that they will be dedicated to providing healthy school meals to all our young people.”


The school meals contract will save Camden Council more than £270,000 which will help both schools and Camden meet the current financial challenge.

Vitally the contract has also secured the jobs of 700 employees, hundreds of whom are local residents, who form the highly regarded teams preparing and serving food across the boroughs throughout term times.


Speaking about this latest news, Caterlink Managing Director, Neil Fuller said: “Hearing that we had been awarded this new contract was an incredibly emotional moment for us all at Caterlink. We’ve worked alongside Camden for 5 years and Islington for 4 years and are extremely proud of what we have achieved with them, from raising the numbers of children who eat school lunch at a greater rate than any other borough in the country  through to becoming the first contract caterer to be awarded the Soil Association’s Food for Life Accreditation.


“Together we’ve shown that it is absolutely possible to deliver the most fantastic food in school and really make a difference to the day for the children as well as the school’s staff teams and visitors we serve. We’ve got fantastic plans for the years ahead and we’re looking forward to the future.”

This latest award win by Caterlink ends an outstanding year for the caterer which more latterly has seen the company begin providing services to 41 schools in Windsor and Maidenhead in a deal worth £1.25 million per annum.


The caterer has also recently won contracts to deliver services for Impington Village College, Cambridgeshire; Bishops Stotfold School, Kettering and Futures Community College, Southend, as well as at City of Westminster College; Sacred Heart Primary School, London; Worthing High School and Woodhouse College, London.