Edsential Community Interest Company

Edsential is a Community Interest Company owned by Cheshire West and Chester Council and Wirral Council to provide services to the Education sector. They have been created with a private sector head and public sector heart – allowing them the freedom to compete, whilst using any surplus as a direct reinvestment in the services or to support projects in the schools.

They are independent of the stakeholders and serve all schools and institutions, regardless of governance structure (Maintained, Academy, Free School and Independent Sector).

“We provide school meals to children and they are passionate about the ethics of their food and how their decisions can make a difference to our planet. We are proud to work on their behalf to support and promote sustainable palm oil.”
Ian McGrady, Managing Director

Our story

We supply 5.5 million school meals per year in NW England and our pupils, inspired by Chester Zoo, asked us to join the Chester Sustainable Palm Oil City initiative. We did and decided to challenge ourselves to go further and achieve RSPO certification for our whole supply chain to ensure that our school meals only used certified sustainable palm oil. After a year of working with our catering team and our suppliers we achieved RSPO certification in July 2019, a very proud day for us. We believe we are the world’s first school caterer, indeed caterer of any kind, to become RSPO certified.

Palm Oil

Our biggest struggle is

Convincing our suppliers to change their product formulations and gain formal certification for their supply chain. We needed to show them it made business sense to do so.

Our next activity

We are promoting the benefit of RSPO certified palm oil to all of our schools and their pupils, encouraging them to challenge their parents and spread the message.

Our UN Sustainable Development Goals

My organisation is most concerned with the following 5 UN SDGs:

  • Goal 3: Good health and well-being
  • Goal 4: Quality Education
  • Goal 13: Climate action
  • Goal 14: Life below water
  • Goal 15: Life on land

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Sign up, switch to sustainable palm oil and join us in showing the positive impact on the ground and making sustainable palm oil a reality!

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