1 October 2018 saw the launch of the University’s first ever sustainable food strategy, which provides a road map for increasing the sustainability of our food offering from field to fork and beyond. The strategy supports the University’s overall response to the climate crisis and meets ever increasing demand for more sustainable options across our campuses’ menus.
Now a year on into improving the sustainability of the food served across campus, the Sustainable Food Steering Group would like to share some of the key achievements that have been accomplished in the strategy’s first year. The combined efforts of all those involved were highlighted in the People and Planet University League table with the points received in the sustainable food section, alongside engagement and education, giving Kent a boost up league from 101 to 40th.
Rutherford Kitchen has changed it produce supplier meaning fruit and vegetables are now being sourced from local growers. This mean that the menu in Rutherford can be adapted by the chefs regularly to reflect the seasons and share the best of southern produce.
Kent Union have been working hard to support the Sustainable Food Strategy and were instrumental in pushing for reusable water bottles and coffee cups to be made more available and visible. All staff members can claim a water bottle at any Kent Hospitality outlet, and students that moved into accommodation on campus received a free water bottle and coffee cup. Bed and board students also received a reusable food container that can be traded in for a clean one each time they use it at bed and board outlets.
Kent Hospitality released new menus across their Canterbury and Medway outlets, increasing their vegan options available. Their efforts have been recognised by PETA, who have included the University of Kent on their list of 20 Most Vegan-Friendly Universities. In addition to this, many of the new vegan and vegetation items replaced red meat items that were previously on the menus as part of an effort to reduce carbon and water intensive food items from our offering.
All fish served in meals across our outlets is now Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified. This ensures that no fish we serve is on the ‘fish to avoid list’ for species of conservation concern, and that we have full traceability on where that fish came from.
K Bar have gone disposable coffee cup free, meaning all customers are encouraged to drink in or have their reusable cup at the ready.
The Gulbenkian are taking part in FutureProof and their project, ‘Project Zero,’ aims to eliminate as much waste as possible from their operations. So far they have:
- removed all single use plastic bottles in the café, saving over 30000 plastic bottles since August 2018,
- switched to re-usable plastic pint and half pint cups which significantly reduced their single use plastic cup buying,
- partnered with ‘Too Good To Go’ and each month sell around 70 bags of food, which would normally be thrown away,
- sent their milk bottle caps (around 300 caps a week) to a company that reuse the plastic
The waste team have begun a food waste trial with six outlets across the University with the waste being sent to an anaerobic digestion facility in Essex, where they produce bio fertilisers for farmers and other growers.
The sustainable food steering group will continue to share our progress against the strategy so please keep an eye on updates in each of the outlets and on campus online.
For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org