Chartwells, world’s biggest caterers, behind food parcels criticised by Marcus Rashford

The catering brand Chartwells is part of the Compass Group, a multinational food service company that posts annual revenues of around £25 billion. It is the biggest catering firm in the world.

Chartwells, which covers contracts with educational institutions, supplies thousands of meals a day to schools, colleges, and universities across Britain, and in both the state and private sector. 

Some of the heavily criticised food boxes shared on social media on Tuesday were provided by the brand. 

‘Nutritious, fun and tasty meals’

On the Compass Group website, the company says of Chartwells: “Our education catering and food services team are proud to serve millions of nutritious, fun and tasty meals to students in schools, academies, colleges and universities across England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. 

“On top of catering for students we also dish up great tasting meals to a host of educators across both the public and private sectors.

“We also provide the vital support services that are needed for education staff to perform to the best of their ability in their roles.”

Support for Rashford campaign

In December 2020, Chartwells became the first school caterer to join Marcus Rashford’s Child Poverty Taskforce, and in an announcement pledged to supply “healthy meals” to “thousands of schools” across the UK.

Marcus Rashford said the free school meals parcels were “just not good enough” (Photo: PA Wire)

Charlie Brown, the managing director, said at the time: “Marcus Rashford’s campaign shines a much-needed spotlight on the issue of child food poverty. We know how important nutritious food is to educational attainment, and that food provision is a real struggle for some families, so we fully support widening access to free school meals.

“We’re now going to be working with the taskforce to provide healthy meals during school holidays for those entitled to free school meals. As the first school caterer on board, I believe our insights and our networks in schools will be valuable, to make a real difference to young lives.”