Why food matters to universities? Attracting new students and reassuring parents Making a tangible contribution to carbon- reduction targets Increasing sales of on-campus food Improving health Contributing to the local economy by buying local food People & Planet Green League
Current knowledge suggests that a healthy diet will very often also be a sustainable diet. Department of Health, Oct 2011 Priority steps, from SDC review for Defra: Setting the table 1.reducing meat and dairy 2.cutting food and drink of low nutritional value 3.reducing food waste 4.consuming only fish from sustainable stocks 5.eating more seasonal food 6.consuming more wildlife-friendly, organic foods The evidence
Perceived barriers UK procurement managers have convinced themselves that EU regulations prohibit specifying the use of local food in public contracts. While it is indeed illegal to specify local products that can only be supplied by local producers (a stance that contravenes the EU principle of non-discrimination), it is possible to specify for produce such qualities as fresh, seasonal, organic and certified – qualities that are used to secure local produce in all but name in countries like Italy, for instance. Sonnino, R and Morgan, K, 2010
Social Return on Investment NEF: for every £1 invested in Food for Life menus, there is a return of over £3 in value to the local economy and society. Most of this value lies in local economic opportunities around supplying local, seasonal food, and resulting employment.
Business benefits – why businesses sign up Grow meal uptake e.g. London Borough of Richmond +39% Meal price reduced 18p Public recognition for good work A Catering Mark is a respected and recognised indication of sustainability and quality. Enhances CSR programmes Catering Mark accreditations are testament to commitment to addressing environmental concerns Win new contracts Catering Mark written in to tenders Public health and local authority training
Food accounts for 30% of our carbon footprint Sustainable food organic local seasonal Less plate waste Less meat awareness
Freshly prepared Local Seasonal Free from trans fats Better for animal welfare Bringing together all of the issues people care about
No undesirable additives, GM or trans fats 75% freshly prepared All meat meets British welfare standards Eggs from cage-free hens Seasonal menus No fish from the fish to avoid list Free drinking water prominently available Bronze Standards
Recognising continuous improvement Ethical and environmentally friendly food Championing local producers Making healthy eating easy Silver and Gold Standards
Catering Mark success so far 743,000 Catering Mark meals served per day 5,000+ schools Food for Life 70% of London Boroughs Half of all universities in Wales are Catering Mark accredited Working with the biggest caterers in the country across all major sectors Increasing numbers of hospitals across the country are working with us to deliver Catering Mark meals
We have seen a rise in customer numbers and repeat visitors. Students demand freshly prepared meals and are keen to know the origin of ingredients and that they tick boxes environmentally, the perception that students just want pizza and chips is both outdated and from our experience incorrect. We have received very positive feedback from both students and staff. We were actually surprised at how interested students are in the origin of food products, animal welfare and the make- up of dishes that they consume. We found that displaying information about our local suppliers and products encouraged customers to engage further by asking catering staff about the award It is vital to us that we spread the word and encourage other universities in the UK to embrace the Food for life mark, meaning that young people in higher education are benefiting from a better quality of freshly prepared food and are aware of the important issues that the mark represents.
The fact that our Catering Mark award improves our People and Planet rating was not the driving factor in getting the Catering Mark, but is a good thing that the work is recognised in this way. This years TUCO conference theme is sustainability and knowing other institutions who have already achieved the award I thought now was the time to explore it further. The biggest challenge was engaging chefs and serving staff, as there are price increases to some products. The big plus point here for us was re focusing on our menu descriptors and shouting about the good things we were already doing. The audit was very thorough but at no time did I get the impression of being challenged, the auditors want to help you achieve the award whilst ensuring the standards are met and maintained in the future.