A French caterer loathed by many in WA’s fly-in, fly-out workforce has been tossed in the bin by one of the State’s biggest miners — but its replacement’s track record is far from clean. Fortescue this week informed some employees it had not renewed Sodexo’s catering contract extension at its Christmas Creek, Cloudbreak, Karntama and Nyidinghu camps in the Pilbara. A spokeswoman for the miner confirmed Sodexo’s termination. “Following a comprehensive review of our central services portfolio, we have made the decision to appoint Civeo as the provider of choice, to align our food services across our operations to one service provider,” she told The West Australian. “We thank Sodexo for their invaluable contribution over the years and we acknowledge their significant role in our journey.” Sodexo originally won a three-year contract valued at $165 million — in partnership with three Aboriginal businesses — in December 2019 to provide catering and accommodation management services at the Fortescue sites. The Sodexo sites comprised Fortescue’s eastern iron ore hub, while Canada’s Civeo was responsible for the western hub that includes the Eliwana and Solomon mines. In June last year, The West revealed footage of a steak crawling in maggots purportedly taken at Fortescue’s Iron Bridge project, a site Civeo also looks after. Fortescue’s WA iron ore operations comprise the bulk of its 15,000-plus workforce. The West understands there have been a plethora of complaints by Fortescue employees about Sodexo’s food. “The food they serve is pretty much always disgusting, sometimes it’s completely inedible and are meals I wouldn’t even give to my pets,” one Christmas Creek employee, who did not wish to be named, told The West. A spokeswoman from the Australian arm of Sodexo – which is headquartered in Paris – declined to specify when Fortescue had advised the contractor its services were no longer required. “We thank Fortescue for their partnership over the years,” the Sodexo spokeswoman said. “Sodexo takes pride in our team’s spirit of service that is exemplified in every facilities management contract we service across Australia.” Sodexo also notably holds the main catering contract with Rio Tinto at its sprawling operations in the Pilbara. It secured the 10-year, $2.5 billion contract, which also includes broader accommodation management services, in March 2016. There are rumours some of the on-site management at Rio’s iron ore operations are increasingly keen for an early change in caterers, as major mining competitors – most notably Mineral Resources – enhance the quality of their meal offerings to attract workers in a tight labour market. Rio declined to comment on the industry speculation. Chris Ellison’s MinRes — which touts its “seafood Fridays” — has long been known as an industry leader in the food department and is looking to up its game further. MinRes directly employs all its kitchen staff and is currently rolling out a la carte table service in addition to the usual buffet style servings across its WA camps. Sodexo’s other WA catering clients include Westgold Resources and First Quantum Minerals’ Ravensthorpe nickel mine. The French contractor employs more than 420,000 people across the globe and has a market value of €11.6b.