Our catering operation is a critical – and highly visible – statement about our commitment to sustainability. Food brings together issues such as healthy eating, supply chain integrity, waste and packaging, cultural diversity, fair trade and carbon reduction.


Catering for sustainability

We are committed to delivering our policy requirements on healthy, seasonal and responsibly sourced food, as well as good environmental management in our refectories and kitchens, and this is supported by our Procurement Strategy.

Our sustainable food policy sets targets on:

  • Maintaining the Fairtrade University status we have held since 2006
  • Sourcing of local, free range and organic food
  • Provision of fresh, healthy and nutritious food
  • Promotion of equality and diversity through culturally varied menus
  • Minimising catering waste including disposables and wrapping

Our Annual Sustainability Report reports on performance against these targets, as well as new projects with local suppliers.

Our sustainable catering achievements

  • The University has held Fairtrade status since 2006 and in 2022 we were accredited to the new Fairtrade standard with an additional one-star.
  • In 2014 we were Finalists in the Food and Drink category of the competitive UK Green Gown Awards, for our performance on sourcing, produce, income, wellbeing, education and waste.
  • In 2018 researchers at our Countryside and Community Research Institute released the Mi-Larder app to help people locate and use local food suppliers more easily across our region
  • All our catering outlets are certified to Marine Stewardship Council standards – and all fish is purchased from MSC certified supplier, M&J Seafoods
  • All meats are British and Red Tractor accredited
  • Our showcase hospitality menu champions locally sourced ingredients and home made dishes
Working Towards Badge: Fairtrade University Award