Our sustainable food culture
We're creating a sustainable food culture that supports local, sustainable and Fairtrade produce and suppliers. And we're transforming our catering into a model of sustainable catering.
Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA)
We were one of the first Universities to be accredited with the SRA standard in 2014, and we achieved the top Three Star rating (scoring 72 per cent), since renewed in 2015 (with 74 per cent). Their standard is rated with one to three stars, against the 14 key sustainability criteria of sourcing, society and environment. In 2015 we scored 66 per cent for sourcing (slightly down from 68 per cent in 2014), 90 per cent for society (up from 86 per cent in 2014) and 78 per cent for environment (up from 70 per cent in 2014). We scored particularly well against ‘treating people fairly’ (97 per cent), ‘community engagement’ (91 per cent) and ‘healthy eating’ (86 per cent) categories within society. Within the sourcing category we scored particularly well against ‘sustainable fish’ (82 per cent), ‘ethical meat and dairy’ (74 per cent) and Fair Trade (83 per cent). We have improvements to make in the area of ‘environmentally positive farming’ where we scored a lower 47 per cent.
Our produce, suppliers and near-date food
Our fish, Individually Quick Frozen haddock, used to be fished in the Pacific and packed in China, before flying over 5,000 miles to get to your plate in Drake’s Café. Since 2013, we source fish from the local Plymouth and Brixton fish markets, empowering our supplier to provide fish that is plentiful on the day and either MSC Certified or from boats that are part of the Responsible Fishing Scheme. The boats are small day boats, and many of them are rod and line. This supports the local fishing industry, removes air miles and increases quality.
Since 2015 we have been using a local fish supplier who gets the produce from Plymouth and Brixton fish markets.
All our meat is British and beef, pork and lamb is from an Exeter family butcher, Red Tractor Certified and sourced from the South West. Our fruit and vegetables supplier is from Saltash. Our baker is Friary Mill based in Plymouth. Our fresh milk is local, our eggs are free range, our coffee is Fairtrade. In fact, we're a Fairtrade University.
Our disposables are biodegradable. Our food prep and plate waste is collected and taken to an anaerobic digester at Langage farm. Due to our food waste being carefully monitored, and stock ordered in fresh every few days, there is very little near/on date food that is wasted. Any consumable food waste left is donated to local women’s and children's refuge.