Sustainable food policy
The Policy covers all outlets and food served by the University and managed by Catering and Retail Services, Commercial and Facilities Management Directorate. Catering and Retail Services take their environmental responsibility seriously.
Whilst there is no one definition of ‘sustainable food’, our working definition is the one used by DEFRA – “Food which is healthier for people and the planet”.
Food for life catering mark
The University has been working with the Soil Association to implement the Food For Life Catering Mark at our main Refectory and at the Nursery. The standard provides a framework for continual improvement in providing sustainable food for our customers. Some of the sustainable food actions that we have implemented include:
- Increasing seasonal fruit and vegetables
- Increasing higher meat and dairy
- Purchasing free-range and local eggs
- Increasing sale/purchase of Fairtrade products
- Reducing use of artificial additives
- Providing free drinking water to our customers
- Reducing water and energy usage
Keele University have acheived the Food For Life Catering Mark Bronze Award at two Level at two of our sites:
- Keele Day Nursery
- Chancellor's Refectory (Excluding fast food, burger and street food counters)
Local food supply
We strive to purchase local produce. We procure
- Cheeses from Staffordshire Organic Cheeses only four miles from Keele.
- Fruit and vegetables are delivered daily from Freshview Foods who are based in Wolstanton, just 4 miles away. Freshview are able to source locally grown fruit and vegetables including strawberries, herbs, root vegetables and potatoes along with micro cress varieties, lettuces and tomatoes.
- Milk and dairy produce comes from Wells Farm Dairy who trade out of the village of Bradley near the county town of Stafford around 15 miles away from Keele. They select milk from a collective of dairy farms from Staffordshire and Cheshire.
- Free range eggs are purchased from Hungerford Farm Eggs situated just 10 miles away in the village of Madeley.
Our food supply contracts
Nearly 90% of the University catering purchases are awarded through 'Framework' contracts. This means a sustainable food policy is being implemented, monitored and observed for the majority of the food supplies for the University as a condition of framework compliance. Most of the frameworks fall under The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) who are committed to embed sustainable procurement within all contracts and framework agreements.
Tender specification documents for University food suppliers include a requirement to comply with the Univesity's sustainable food policy and with the targets committed to throught the food for life catering mark certification.
Sustainable food projects
The University provide a food growing space for staff, students and local residents. Find out more about the allotments here
A student led food co-op is also in operation offering a weekly veg-box full of fresh, local, seasonal and organic produce.