16 Mar 2023

We’ve achieved a highly coveted award for serving fresh food made with sustainable ingredients at our food outlets.

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The Food for Life Served Here Gold Award from the Soil Association is a huge accolade, and a result of years of impressive work by our Food and Beverage team. The achievement provides official recognition that all of our restaurants and cafes serve only the highest quality ingredients, and that we follow the highest level of sustainable practice in our supply chains.

“We’re one of the largest organisations to have ever been awarded a Gold award by the Soil Association. The high volume of food produce we use and serve at the zoo makes it all the more difficult to achieve this top award, so we’re ever so proud of this achievement.”

Simon Lockhart, Head of Food and Beverage

Simon continued to say:

“We can now provide assurance to all of our guests and their families that we only serve up quality, sustainable ingredients.

“We also now have a real opportunity to use our platform to influence more and more supply chains to try to create a shift to nature-friendly, sustainable practices – something that we’re already championing when it comes to deforestation-free commodities such as palm oil, soya, sugar and coffee.”


The Soil Association was founded in 1946 by farmers, scientists, doctors and nutritionists to promote the connection between the health of the soil, food, animals, people and the environment. The Soil Association is the charity working with everyone to transform the way we eat, farm and care for our natural world.

Achieving this incredible award has been a long journey for our zoo, involving a rigorous assessment process by the Soil Association awards team. Key things they wanted confirmation of was:

  • Meat is from UK farms, fish is not endangered, and all eggs are free range. Our meat can be traced back to the farm and we only source from farmers who champion animal welfare
  • The ingredients we use are completely free from additives, trans fats and genetically modified organisms, while our menus are inclusive of cultural and dietary needs. We understand that people have individual requirements and it’s important to us that everyone is catered for
  • By opting to use seasonal ingredients, we’re lowering carbon emissions and reducing the negative impact of our food on the environment, meaning that our menus are sustainable.

Our zoo strives to provide delicious meals for our visitors every day and it’s a rare feat for a place of our size to achieve this award.

Caron Longden, Senior Business Development Lead, Food for Life Served Here, added:

“We’re delighted to award Chester Zoo with our Gold Food for Life Served Here certificate. By using organic milk, organic beef burgers, and Free Range chicken the team at the zoo are showing the value they put on serving food that is better for our health, nature and climate. Visitors to the zoo can be reassured that the food on offer is of the highest quality and of the care the team put into sourcing ingredients. We, at the Soil Association, are inspired by the work done, especially so in these challenging times.”

We have LOADS of restaurants, cafes and kiosks located throughout the zoo! You’ll find everything from classic family friendly dishes to tasty street food.