Sodexo builds on 12-year partnership with Oasis with 3-year deal extension

Sodexo has signed a new contract with Oasis Community Learning in South Bank, London SE1, which starts in September 2023

Sodexo first partnered with Oasis Community Learning over 12 years ago, and today Sodexo’s Food & Co offer - which comprises a modern and fresh menu - provides breakfast, morning break and lunch to 28,000 Oasis pupils, as well as hospitality services.

The new contract will see the deployment of Sodexo’s digital pre-ordering system, School Food United (SFU), at all Oasis academy schools in time for the 2023-24 academic year.

Sodexo has also partnered with Rethink Food’s Futures programme to provide Oasis academy pupils with exciting learning opportunities with tower gardens introduced. The soil-free tower gardens enable the children to grow fresh produce from seed to salad in 60 days.

Tower gardens use aeroponic technology which is the process of growing plants in the air or mist environment without soil or an aggregate medium. Compared to soil gardening, aeroponic technology has been shown to increase yields by as much as 30% and triple the speed of plant growth, while using only 10% of the water and space.

According to Rethink Food, research shows that children who grow their own food are five times more likely to eat it.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has always been a key focus for the partnership, in June 2022 Sodexo appointed Elizabeth Axon as social responsibility and engagement manager specifically to help maximise Sodexo’s initiatives across Oasis academy schools.

Initiatives include:
• Agents for Change programme, which invites pupils to have a say in the school meals provision from menu through to dining hall design
• Carbon menu labelling at secondary academy schools. Sodexo has partnered with Klimato to raise awareness amongst pupils and staff on the impact their food choices have on the planet through CO2 labelling
• WasteWatch - Sodexo teams have been using the WasteWatch food waste reduction programme, powered by LeanPath at Oasis schools since April 2021. The amount of food waste reduced has helped prevent almost 80 metric tons of CO2. That is the equivalent to 20,847 meals saved.

Steve Hawkins, Managing Director, Schools, Sodexo UK & Ireland, said, “We are delighted to continue our long-term partnership with Oasis Community Learning.

'Together we are committed to working together to ensure pupils enjoy tasty, nutritious school meals every day, and to help raise awareness of not only the importance of a well-balanced diet, but how small changes can make a big difference on the impact food has on the planet, whether that is choosing a low-carbon meal or ensuring that food waste is kept to a minimum.

“We have enjoyed engaging Oasis pupils on sustainability issues over the last 12 years and with Elizabeth’s help we will continue to do this and support Oasis on its net zero journey as we too navigate ours.”

John Barneby, chief operating officer of Oasis Community Learning, added, “We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with Sodexo. We believe that having access to good, healthy food is important to help our students learn.

“We have been impressed by Sodexo’s passion for delivering sustainable and nutritious school meal options and are confident that together we can continue to encourage the uptake of school meals whilst educating the next generation about how a change in behaviour or diet can have a positive impact on the planet.”