University becomes collection hub for local food and drink

Students, staff and members of the public are now able to collect fresh local produce from the University of Plymouth campus every week.

Thanks to a partnership with Tamar Valley Food Hubs, fruit and vegetables produced along the banks of the river will be delivered to the university every Friday.

The online farmers market, which specialises in local produce from small growers, producers and farmers, now has a collection point at Drakes Café.

It adds to the organisation’s existing network of collection points across the area, linking customers in the region with small producers.

Tamar Valley Food Hubs is an initiative from Tamar Grow Local, a not for profit Community Interest Company (CIC) set up to promote sustainable local produce.

It offers weekly deliveries of fresh fish, local meat, artisan breads, apple juice and honey, as well as cakes and a range of gluten free produce. Customers can also help local families by purchasing a bag of fresh vegetables through the Grow, Share, Cook project.

Rachael Forster, from Tamar Valley Food Hubs, said:

“We are delighted to be bringing the food hub to the university. It is a producer-led, local and fair trade system ensuring local producers can set their own prices and receive fair payment for everything they sell. I hope students and staff will embrace what we are trying to achieve.”

The new partnership is the latest commitment by Plymouth – a Fairtrade University – to promote sustainability in its use of produce, and it already has a three-star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

Three-quarters of its catering spend currently goes to South West suppliers, and other accolades include Food for Life Accreditation from the Soil Association and a Good Egg award for its use of free range egg and egg products.

Dr Samantha Price, Sustainability Manager at the University, said:

“We’re excited to be able to host a food hub at the university, extending our offer of local, fresh and sustainable food. It will provide an opportunity for staff, students and visitors to be able to purchase local produce that can be enjoyed at home.”

Orders can be placed online at www.tamarvalleyfoodhubs.org.uk up until Wednesday mornings for delivery on Friday afternoons. The Drakes Café collection hub will be open on Fridays at 3.30-3.45pm.